Wow, is today’s Lenten Meditation from The Word Among Us perfect for me or what? The life of a freelance writer/author/social media marketer has always been my chosen path from the time I was old enough to talk (ok, the technologically advanced social media part came much later) — the God-given purpose I knew was uniquely mine, though I spent many, many years doing the “practical”, “corporate” and “acceptable” thing, partly to make others happy and partly because I liked the security. During this past week, I’ve dealt with some well-meaning, but misguided naysayers who believe that ghostwriting a book is something a person does “part-time”, while working full-time somewhere else.
Funny, I tried that before and it didn’t work. The project stalled for the simple reason that it requires full-time attention. And the fact that the client approached me after two years, adamant that I was the only person who could properly bring his vision to life, proves my point. Thus, I find myself being paid to write a book full-time, which still allows me to pick up a social media or freelance project here and there.
God works in mysterious ways if we just learn to trust Him:
Ask … seek … knock. (Matthew 7:7)
Christopher Columbus. Ferdinand Magellan. Vasco Da Gama. These men are considered some of history’s greatest explorers. But what enabled them to cross vast oceans at great risk just to reach their goal? Mostly it was their determination to succeed no matter what. It also took a lot of trust. They had to trust in their ships, in their navigational instruments and charts, and ultimately, in God.
This is the kind of attitude that Jesus is asking us to have in prayer. For there’s a certain level of tenacity implied in the advice he gives us today: ask, seek, and knock. Jesus is telling us that not only should we request things of God, we should actively seek him out for these things. In fact, he invites us to knock right on his front door! He tells us to be persistent as well. We can’t give up just because we don’t see tangible results right away. We need to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.
This means that trust has to be at the heart of our prayer—trust based on knowing how much the Lord cares for us. It’s a trust in his promise: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). It’s a trust based on the fact that our Father loves us so much that he sent his only Son to die a sinner’s death for us. It’s the trust that tells us that our God will never abandon us. He is our Father, not just our Maker, and he doesn’t hand out snakes to his children!
In prayer today, take a cue from the great explorers. You may have been seeking something for a long time—perhaps a job or healing from an illness. Don’t give up! Your persistence will pay off as you draw closer to God—and as he draws closer to you. So give your worries to him. Even if he doesn’t answer your prayer the way you had hoped, he will answer in the way that is best for you. The only thing he can’t do is ask for you—that part is up to you!
“Lord, teach me to pray with persistence and with faith in your love and care. Help me to trust that you are always with me—no matter what the challenge may be.”
Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25; Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
Emphasis mine, as trust is something I have to develop and nurture daily.
Funny that this meditation also alludes to Christopher Columbus and other great explorers. A family friend once told me I have the “Christopher Columbus” gene, due to my desire and willingness to seek out new professional adventures, people and places to live. The paradox, of course, is that at the same time I am very family-oriented, which adds to the bittersweetness of it all. So I am still learning to trust in God as this prayer urges, and to keep abiding by His guidance. Perhaps the naysayers exist to reinforce the bond of trust between God and the individual. No one ever promised an obstacle-free path and sometimes those obstacles arise in the form of loving people who are so focused on their own God-given purpose that they cannot understand why someone else’s differs so dramatically from their own. Particularly if that someone else is a close family member or friend.
Is there something in your life you feel called to do, yet are under pressure from those around you to make a different choice? Take today’s meditation to heart, talk to God daily and follow His purpose for your own unique life.
P.S. Quite ironically, today’s #Writestream Chat with author John D. Gresham will revolve around the topic: “How to Make a Living as a Freelance Writer.” Join us at 11 a.m. Eastern!