Have you ever felt stalked? By Scripture, I mean. It’s been happening to me for the past 10 days or so. The same verse keeps poppin’ up—first it appeared on the perpetual calendar by my kitchen sink. Then during a phone interview, dripping with a sweet southern drawl, when a 16-year-old North Carolina girl quoted it to me. Two days ago it appeared in my Bible reading for that day.
This verse feels as familiar as my well-worn blue jeans. So familiar, in fact, that I’m tempted to brush it aside and ask God for something more…you know…flashy. But a little voice inside says, “Listen up! God’s trying to tell you something and you don’t want to miss it.”
What’s the verse? “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
The Scriptural stalker offers simple but sound advice. I’m taking it to heart, applying it to my writing and speaking ministry. Here’s why: Nearly four years ago an editor told me to write another book on the heels of my fourth release to keep the marketing momentum going. He wanted a proposal submitted within weeks. Business-wise, this seemed a smart strategy. Personally, it seemed enough to put me over a physical and emotional brink because events at home had hit an all-time pressure point.
My eldest daughter’s wedding was only two weeks away. We were planning to move in six weeks and still had to find and buy a house. Moving meant downsizing and packing our belongings. To top it off, we were on the verge of launching a new ministry. Besides trying to figure out how to do that, we were scheduled to travel to Eastern Europe within six days of our move in order to attend a staff conference.
At first, I caved to the editor’s request. Several days later, I regretted saying yes. Writing a quality book takes time and energy, and I had little of either to invest into a new project. And so I reneged on my decision and told him that the proposal would have to wait. Was that a smart business decision by human standards? Probably not. But everything inside me screamed to let it go and focus on other things at hand.
Over the past three years, I’ve invested into International Messengers’ growth and repeatedly asked God to direct my writing. My understanding says that, in order to best accommodate our growing overseas ministry demands, I should forget books and write only magazine articles. They take less time and energy, they don’t require the marketing effort and expense that books require, and they don’t necessitate having a literary agent. Besides, I’ve submitted three book proposals only to have them rejected. And yet, God has confirmed in several ways that book writing is still in my future.
Since Proverbs 3:5,6 has begun stalking me, I’ve turned it into a prayer asking God to help me (continue to) trust Him with my writing future. And you know what? Some incredible doors appear to be opening. More than ever, I’m acknowledging His presence and sovereignty in my writing life, and I’m expecting Him to direct my path. Now there’s a sense of anticipation, wondering how this verse is going to play out.
You’re probably well-familiar with Proverbs 3:5,6, too. How has it impacted your life?