In Good Company

As I sit here preparing to write a blog, already a few days past due, my mind is…well…blank. Nothing. Nada. Zip. This seems to be a normal occurrence, lately. I’ve tried to pray through it, work through it, and read through it. You know, hoping inspiration comes as I read the Bible or devotions by Charles Stanley’s In Touch magazine. But nothing is forthcoming.

I will admit, there’s a part of me that’s in a bit of a panic over it. You see, I’m not just uninspired with the blog post, but with my new novel, as well. I just can’t seem to get past chapter three. Then I read another chapter of Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird and realized this is what many (dare I say most) writers go through on occasion. The fear of inadequacy.

This was on my mind Thursday while Chris and I drove to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. A long weekend, in which no one would expect me to write. A short reprieve from that gnawing fear. I perused the list of podcasts from Focus on the Family I’d stored for just such a drive and connected one. I couldn’t even tell you which podcast it was—not the date it was recorded nor the subject matter. Nevertheless, God spoke to me loud and clear.

The interviewee touched on the common malaise of human inadequacy. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not. He reminded me of Gideon from the book of Judges. Poor Gideon. First he asked the Lord to prove Himself. Not once, but three times. Who could blame him, really? The pathetic lad was asked to go into a battle he clearly felt unprepared for. Then, just to make things interesting, God downsized his army—from 32,000 to 300 men—and gave them each a trumpet, a clay pitcher and a lantern in place of weapons. It would be clear that when Gideon’s miniscule, weaponless army conquered the Midianites, that it was through the power of the Lord.

Then there was Moses, asked to face the powerful Pharaoh and demand that he let God’s people go. Armed with a staff and a weak voice, Moses felt inadequate. Go figure! But again, it was God’s power that freed the Israelites from the clutches of the evil Pharaoh, not Moses.

I’m certainly not comparing myself to these super heroes of the Old Testament. But if God could arm Gideon and Moses (and let’s not forget David and his mighty slingshot) to succeed to such amazing heights, surely He can give me the words to complete a mere novel (not to mention a 500-word blog post.)

I get so caught up in my ability, I forget who’s really in charge. There are times I wonder if God is paying attention to me with so much on His plate lately—especially with the state of this world nose-diving its way to destruction. But then I read His promises in the Bible. I remember how faithful He’s been in every situation I’ve faced in my life. I remember that this whole writing gig was His idea, not mine. And I realize, He’s putting me through this season for a very specific, character-growing reason.

So I persevere.

I pray that if you’re in a season of inadequacy, confusion and/or disillusion, that you’ll remember God’s promise to be with us always and persevere, too. It sure beats the paralyzing fear of panic.

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