Two weeks ago, I announced the coming release of Stronghold on May 28, 2013.
I have since been shocked. Shocked, I tell you. I would have thought that the announcement would put me into a tailspin of anxiety, neurosis, and terror at the thought of people reading my work. I really expected it.
Truth is, those emotions came like a wave that crested and broke over me…but it was a small wave. Low tide. The kind of wave that comes to your knees and crashes into white suds that cover no higher than your calves. Have you ever experienced this sort of thing? You walk along the shoreline, and you see the rolling blue, and you think to yourself, “Oh my, that’s going to be a big one,” only to have it gently head to shore, crest low, and break gently, not even stopping your step? That is the best picture of how I feel. Nothing too serious.
I was bracing for my insecurities to well to maddening levels once the reality of my endeavor hit. But no such onslaught came. Rather, I made the announcement and went about working, understanding that I had appropriate time to refine and prepare for the release.
This is an encouraging sign. I have great peace regarding this project. In fact, I have not only peace but excitement. As I have said many times, I felt led to write a novel. And this novel, specifically, from inception to completion, has been the result of Christ-exalting, God-pursing action. I thank him for it often. I thank him for the fact that I had it to draw my attention and keep me encouraged while being out of work. I thank him for the source of value it has been for readers up to now, and I thank him in advance for the manner in which he will use it to touch more readers in the future.
Hard to feel uneasy about releasing my book when I have that level of excitement over its creation. Let’s just see how I do come May…maybe that’s when the high tide will arrive. We’ll see together, won’t we?
Thanks for reading,
Christians struggle. They sin. All the time. Some of them, though eternally loosed from the bonds of sin find themselves in shackles anew, not for lack of faith but because the flesh is weak. I have seen so many Christians wrestle with depression, sin, and deep-rooted pain. I have seen them. I have been one of them. Some days I am still one of them. I used to become so discouraged by this. I used to question my salvation and consider how I could possibly be a Christian if I wrestled with these things…
…But Christ is so good. The Holy Spirit is true, and he whispers into our souls with persistant love and grace toward us, that while we are yet still sinners, Christ is for us. Though the regenerate heart can still buckle beneath earthly pressures and feel the weight of burdens in the present days, God does not abandon us, he unchangingly loves. His love is full at the beginning of salvation, at the lowest valleys, the highest peaks, and it will remain so, until the end.
So, why do Christians struggle, and why do they hurt so often? If we are real believers in Christ Jesus, who he is and what he has done, how can we hurt and fail as we do? The truth of the answer lay in the text of the question. For Christians whose heart is truly drawn to Christ, who desperately crave heaven like the runner craves the marathon’s finish, this world is not home. This present world is not where we want to be. We long for a righteous throne at which to bow our heads. We wish for a glorious appearing that will blind our eyes and melt our hearts. We desire the presence of one so good, so true, so terribly awesome in his grandeur and power that our knees buckle beneath us and send us to the ground in praise. We want to see our Father’s face.
This is a real longing for the Christian. This is a desire–a desire that seems to trump all other desires less one: to love God by staying here, by serving him as we can, while we can on this side. But that is hard, being here can be hard, for it’s not home. Not yet.
All that to say, I try not to judge Christians for having emotional problems. If anything, I know how they feel. I feel that way too some days, and at times that hurt and longing send me toward fulfillment with the wrong things. But it always comes back to love. Love for God, and love for others. Love is hard, but it is the narrow path, and it is the path to which Christ calls us.
Nor sure from where in my heart this post came, but I felt it worth sharing. Thanks for reading,