Little did I know when I posted the blog recently about persevering (“The Best Is Yet to Be” –6-30-13), that I was going to need that message for myself.
When the first copy of my new book arrived I was so excited. I felt energized and highly motivated to share it with the world. I could overcome every challenge: My dreams new no bounds. There it is to the left of this post. Isn’t it pretty?
However, when the full order of 601 books arrived in 16 separate cartons, the cold fingers of dread clutched me. That looks like a LOT of books. How could I ever find eager readers for all of them?
As I lay curled into a fetal position, staring dubiously at the boxes, and sucking my thumb, that still small voice came whispering a Bible verse to me. It is from Joshua 1:3 where God speaks a message to the Israelites as they are assembled on the east side of the Jordan River staring at the Promised Land spread out before them and flowing with milk and honey on the other side of the River. God renews His promise to them saying, “I am giving you every place you will step on with the sole of your foot.” Inherent in that promise is the idea that they are assured victory, but they are not spared effort. The size of their victory is totally dependent on how much effort they will put forth. And that effort will be the result of one single step at a time: Just one step, and then the next one, and then the next. Don’t worry about the mountains, or the desert, or the fortified cities that lie ahead. Just lift the sole of your foot and put it down in the next place. The victory is waiting for you there.
So there is the answer for me:
• Shake off the dread and stand up. After all, you can’t take steps from a fetal position.
• Let God be in charge of the victories and successes. Have faith in Him and in the goodness of His plans for me.
• My job is to just take the next step in front of me whether it is hosting a book launch, sending out proposals, writing blog posts, or holding a book signing.
• As I take one step at a time, my focus must be on lovingly and joyfully taking that step.
• I must refuse to be distracted by imagining the consequences of either success or failure.
When my student brought to me the painting that she was discouraged with and about which I wrote the blog “The Best Is Yet to Be” (6/30/13), I clearly saw how to encourage her to persist and persevere by carefully studying each part of her subject and recording what she saw one step at a time. How is it that the very same principles can escape us when we are suddenly faced with our own challenges? Praise God for His faithfulness in not growing weary of re-teaching His slow-witted children.