“But, I don’t even know what to write about.”
You don’t have to know, just write.
“Who would read it Lord?”
Don’t write for the reader, just write.
This was a little how my conversation with God went about three months ago when I sat in a hospital room. Time in the hospital really gives you opportunities to think. I have learned I think too much. For some reason, I feel like I am supposed to start writing again. It used to be a passion of mine which I let fall dormant, but God keeps nudging me, write, write, write. My problem has proven persistent since over the past three months these are the first words I have written. I have been searching for a topic to write, but I’m beginning to think it is simply a justified procrastination. It’s as if I am looking for a solution before walking through a problem. I am trying to see the final picture before I will paint the first stroke. Promised words are pretty worthless without followed action.
But for whom should I write? Me. I write countless emails and letters, isn’t that enough? Do I have to write for people to read? No. Do I have to write for someone? No. Then for what? Because I asked you to write, write anything.
I have realized that using gifts and passions God has given you isn’t about the audience to whom they are directed. It isn’t only for the end of who is served. Serving isn’t always solely about the orphan. You don’t serve for only the orphan’s sake. Giving isn’t simply for the sake of the poor or the generosity of the giver. Building isn’t just for the beauty of structure built or the family sheltered. It is about the God who gave the resources, hearts, and talents to those who build. You teach because God has gifted you to teach. If God gives you a voice, you sing, and if He gives you a pen, you write. I don’t profess to be a writer, but if God has asked me to write and given me a desire to write, then my writing should be for God alone. I so often want to make it for the purpose of a reputation or the benefit of another’s mind, but what if it isn’t about either? It is simply being a good steward of an implanted desire.
So, I am writing. The only why I have answered is that it is for God alone, regardless if this page is ever read by another. For the sake of my pride, it may be better if eyes never skim this page.
Either I am a slow learner or Jesus wants to teach me decades worth of teachings in minutes worth of time, but the past month’s trials have seemed eternal. When the storms stops for a moment of calm, I can’t stop bracing myself expectant for the next gust to knock me down. Every chance I get I seem to be scrambling to pick up the pieces in order to remain who I was. The edges of life seem to be unraveling. I certainly know this picture is shot from a mindset extremely narrow, not yet seeing the end of the process. I relate with the frantic disciples on the boat in the storm. Panicked facing death and disaster they yell to their friend they are still trying to figure out, "Jesus, don't you see we are all dying here!?" He sits up, wipes the sleep from his eye, and calms the storm. Calmly but firmly He said, "How much longer must I be with you before you believe?" He controls the storm. Keep reading. The boat reaches the other side.
I never thought my name would be used in the same sentence as “cancer.” When the doctor began to solemnly speak, my mind numbed. Was he serious? I thought to myself, I just finished healing from knee surgery in September, there is no way I would be having health issues again. His words became clouded murmurs as my mind raced into the uncertainties the next days would hold. What if this… what if that… Long story short, he was serious.
Why would a good God allow His children to suffer? What a popular question. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain in suffering, whether physical, mental, or a twisted combination of each, can be used as an instrument of God. I have realized God does not delight in drawing His children through pain, but at times pain is all that will bring us into His will. Some would never know Jesus if it were not for a situation that required them to cling to His side.
It has been over a week now since the surgery to remove the cancer. A promised report is most likely sitting on a desk collecting dust as I await the results. I thought I would be more anxious, but I’ve never felt prayers in my life like I do today. I can literally sense them. I have peace that Paul describes as “beyond understanding.” I don’t profess to have this all figured out or fearless in the least, but I have been given courage, which is strength amidst a fearful situation.
These few paragraphs are more ramble than purposeful, but as rambled they may be at least I am writing. But this time it is for the Reader who knew the words before I wrote them.