Strength for the Journey
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:5-7)
“You want me to what, Lord? Write a book? You must have the wrong person?” I argued with God for several months when He first handed me the monumental task of writing a fiction novel. I informed Him that I wasn’t a writer (as if He didn’t already know), had never written a book, and He had the wrong gal for the task. I reminded Him that I passed high school English with a C and chose not to attend college! He assured me that He was well aware of those facts.
“ I frequently use the words ain’t, kinda and gonna. Please, Lord, surely there must be someone else You’d rather use.” Nope! He kept insisting that I was the one. Eeek! I now know how Moses must have felt. (Ok, at least He didn’t ask me to throw down a staff and watch it turn into a snake.)
So I did what any mature, obedient Christian would do. I threw out fleeces! (Don’t look at me like that; you’ve done it too!!!)
“Lord, if You want me to write this book, give me the name of the book.”
“Ok, if you want me to write this book, give me the name of the main character.” He did! And then, to confirm that it was Him, I saw or heard that name spoken several times that week.
“Ok, if You really want me to write this book, give me the opening scene.” Like a movie played before my very eyes, He laid out the opening scene. (Ugh!) “But God,” I argued, “I’m busy: I lead worship, I teach at church and I have a new grandbaby.” My arguments didn’t seem to faze Him. He made sure I had plenty of time to write. He instructed me lay down my ministry of seventeen years at my church. So, I stopped arguing and began an incredible journey with God.
I witnessed Him doing something through me that I thought was impossible. I was writing a novel. We wrote it together; one sentence at a time. Each day as I opened my computer, in obedience to His will, He would lay out the story. When I felt like my work was finished for the day, the flow would cease. I was in awe and amazed at how the story unfolded.
My friend, God is not a respecter of persons. If He could use me, He can use you to do whatever He has called you to do.
The word strength (‘oz) in verse 5 of Psalm 84:5-7 is a word that means might or strength, and it refers to material or physical as well as personal, social or political. So whatever I’m called to do, I have already been given the strength or ability to do it. God will make the divine connections possible, provide the necessary materials needed to get the job done and as I call on Him, open the right doors for me. He’s not looking for those who are necessarily equipped. He’ll strengthen you as you, in obedience, do what He has called you to do. I’ve had to trust Him through this entire process of writing, finding a publisher, and continue to trust that He will help me market the book.
In verse 7, the word strength (chayil) means strength, might, efficiency, wealth, and army. God’s promise to us as His children is to assist us with whatever we need to fulfill His purpose. Do you need finances to complete your assignment? He’s got it! Do you need an army; those who’ll stand with you, pray for you and help you fight your battles? He’s already got that too. And, He’ll get it to you. All you have to do is ask Him, and He promises to give you what you need. If He has called you to do it, He’ll enable you to see it completed. Be encouraged today. His promise is that He will give you strength for the journey!