Sometimes I find myself standing in between two opinions. I’m neither for nor against something, and I end up standing on neutral ground. On some topics or things it really doesn’t make a difference, but when it comes to God—it’s All or Nothing.
I love it when my Daddy preaches on the plumb line in the bible (Amos). With God you’re either plumb in or you’re plumb out. There is no in between. We either believe or we’re a nonbeliever. We are either living our lives for God or we are living for the devil. It’s really not complicated at all. However, we try to make things complicated by justifying our actions. Not only do we lie to God, but we lie to ourselves. I know I do.
If I wanted to, I could find a million excuses not to pray, not to go to church, not to write this blog, and not to read my bible, however, there really is no excuse at all. I can’t find one exception in the bible that allows me to put anything before God. Not one! God wants us to make an honest effort to serve Him and He knows when we are sincere in our efforts and when we are holding back, looking for an excuse.
Even though I’m doing really well now with my hands, it still hurts me so bad to drive. It’s an hour and fifteen minute drive for me to go to church. I could justify staying home on Sundays because it physically hurts me to go, but where would I stand with my Lord? What kind of life would I have if I didn’t get to feel the presence of my Lord and feel His wonderful love from the church? To me that’s worth, ten times over, any pain I might incur. Sometimes we have to be willing to suffer a little for the Lord. We just have to realize life is not easy, nor will it ever be.
It’s not easy for me to write these blog entries. Every single time I sit down to write the devil is in my face. He fights me with every word. It’s hard to hear that still small voice through all of his shouting, but I have found if I stand still and wait, God will put him in his place for me.
Really, when you think about it, all God requires from us is our obedience. That sounds pretty simple until God gives us a little job to do. He doesn’t make us do anything, we always have a choice. However, the price for disobedience is high. And we don’t get to decide how we pay for it, either. God decides when and where and how much we owe.
Sometimes we forget what we’ve done. But in His time, He brings it to our remembrance.
When I dug out my manuscript, Zippy and the Stripes of Courage, for the publisher that requested it this week, there was something not quite right about it. I read it, over and over trying to find the problem. That’s how I’ve always felt about this book, that there was something missing or not right. And I knew I couldn’t send it to the publisher that way. I needed to fix it, but I didn’t know how.
I was miserable on Monday. My contract for Underneath the Scars hadn’t arrived, yet, and all I could think about was Zippy. I knew I had to submit it, but I couldn’t. So I did the only thing I could do, I prayed.
I asked God to help me. And he took me back to the time in my life when I changed Zippy’s story. I was just starting out and I listened to what other published writer’s and top agents were saying and I tweaked my manuscript to adhere to their principals and guidelines. I believed them when they said children’s books shouldn’t have morals and values nor teach anything and I removed God from my story.
And then, I justified my actions. Oh I left a few good points in the story to make myself feel better, but the most important part of the story was gone. Therefore, I had no story at all.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; COLOSSIANS 3:23
I realized I can’t write for anyone other than my Lord. I can’t listen to what the world tells me, I have to follow my heart and in doing that, God will provide the way for me. All He wants from me is obedience. That’s all that I’m capable of anyway.
Once I asked for forgiveness, God blessed me to rewrite the whole book. This time I didn’t hold back, I allowed the story to come totally from my heart. And once I placed Him in the very center of it all, the book satisfied me.
I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am for my actions. But God is so merciful. He could have allowed me to bury the book because I had already given up on it, but instead He loved me enough to forgive me and show me what I had done wrong. Not only that, but He helped me fix my error.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love that book. I learned so much about myself and God through writing it. I fell in love with that little zebra because I realize he is a reflection of me. Through this book not only did I accept my scars, but I learned to love myself.
Whether or not Zippy is published, rests in the hands of my Lord. After I overcome my fears and submitted him to the publisher, I received my contract for the other book. God is the one who can give it all to me or absolutely nothing. He’s my everything!