|Google images-Jasper Johal|
Many of us have no problem believing God was or even that he is to come. It’s the middle part that gives us trouble. The part in between where we have to remain steadfast, unwavering with faces fixed firmly on the promise his presence. The persevering immoveable part.
I love how Oswald Chambers explains perseverance: “Perseverance is more than endurance. [It is] more than hanging on . . . . Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe our hero is going to be conquered.”
Chambers says that “one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God” –as anyone who’s tried to sell a house or land a job or see a breakthrough in a difficult situation knows.
Recently I received two pieces of correspondence from people that most writers aspire to hear from—publishers and agents. The agent was responding to a query I had sent her one-and-a-half years ago. She said although my story sounded remarkable, memoirs were a hard sell, especially for first-time authors, so best wishes in finding someone else to represent me.
Within a day of receiving this belated response from the agent, I received the first copy of that same difficult-to-sell “memoir” which will be released in a few weeks by Thomas Nelson, the world’s largest Christian publisher. I cried when I read the enclosed personal note telling me they were honored to be my publisher.
Two notices. One rejecting a dream, the other celebrating its fulfillment.
As I held the two messages, I thought about how I felt when I had queried the agent that year past. I was full of hope and expectation and possibility. Although disappointed my query garnered no response, I pursued other opportunities, certain within my being that God had a way.
How thankful I am for the sense of steadfastness, for the conviction that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, for the confidence that although the conventions of worldly wisdom would dismiss my work as being unsellable, God’s purposes would prevail.
James tells us that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. If you are experiencing a difficulty, I pray that you would not waver in the time between what was and what is to come. And may your perseverance not be of fierce hanging on because you don’t dare let go, but of joyful confidence that indeed your hero is not defeated, that although you can’t see him in this present trial, HE IS.
Lord, today, regardless of what we see, I join my heart with my friends stopping here today and proclaim My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. Ps 108:1