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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Sunday, March 23, 2008

God – Foremost Teacher On Writing & Life

Once again this morning I was reading the passage in John 20:1-9 about Mary Magdalene and the disciples viewing the empty tomb.

And while God deals in non-fiction and I in fiction, I am always amazed anew at not only the message of His love that is plain to see, but how He gives writing lessons straight from his word.

We've all talked at one time or another how the Bible is full of examples to draw from. This passage is no exception.

I am always fascinated by the differences in the disciples and how God used each one. Here is a perfect example of the difference between how Peter and John functioned and it is a perfect writing lesson as well.

John 20:3-6 (HCSB) says:

3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there.

We learn a lot about the two disciples just in those last 2 verses - and God didn't have to teach us about them with long, windy paragraphs, telling us in great detail how they felt. We know they were both amazed at Mary's words of the empty tomb and they were both anxious to see it. But they also had different reactions - John hesitated and didn't go in, but once Peter was there he went all the way and went right in to take a close look for himself.

Just a few sentences. But God differentiated His disciples just with that handful of words.

And even better then that? I distinctly felt God speak to me in my spirit this morning as I read that passage. I’ve been going through both a spiritual and a creative dry spell, both of which He is bringing me through. But I very clearly heard Him say to me this morning after reading this passage: “Why do you keep thinking there are parts of your life I can’t help you with?”

There are some things I don’t take to God in prayer because I figure He’s too busy to be bothered with them. There are many things I try to handle myself and only call on Him as a last resort – my pride and stubborn independence get in the way. It’s about surrender and absolute faith.

I need to surrender all of myself to Him hour by hour, minute by minute if need be, so that it is He working through me, and not me striving to be something apart from Him. And I need to have faith, absolute faith in Him – that He is constantly at work on my behalf. I must yield my writing and my all to Him and know He can help me with every bit of it.

It is a miracle of God I don't acknowledge often enough - the incredible and diverse ways He teaches me through His word both for my writing and my life.

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