Keep Moving Forward!
On Wednesday, Mary Hamilton talked about the why of writing. On Friday, she expanded this even further, encouraging us to focus on our why when things get rough. Today, I want to speak to those who feel ready to quit. You’re tired, beat up, discouraged, and quite frankly, beginning to wonder if your why is enough. You may even be tempted to question whether or not God’s behind you. (If that’s the case, you might want to read this post, too.) It’s okay to take a breather, to regroup, recharge…but if you’re a follower of Christ, quitting is never an option. For He gave us not a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-discipline. Tap into that Spirit, His Spirit, today, and keep on keeping on! I doubt it’ll be easy. No red carpet experiences here, but your hard work will be reworded–if you’re working for the right motives. If not? Well, then, I’m thinking your efforts might turn into quite a bonfire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
(Today at Living by Grace, a Facebook faith community, we’re talking about this very thing–staying on course when the going gets tough. I’m hosting and I’d love for you to join us. After you read this post of course!)
Are You Stuck in Haran?
A writer’s life is equivalent to white-knuckling a never-ending roller coaster, in the dark, without a seat-belt. Only, you never signed up for that ride, right? You chose the steady upward climb free of twists and turns, and after ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years of spinning; you wonder if perhaps you’re on the wrong path. That still, soft Voice that called you into writing has faded behind a mess of rejection, disappointment and fear. What if you heard wrong? What if God changed His mind? Maybe He’s forgotten about you entirely.
Or maybe you’re right where He wants you to be, following the long, winding, equipping road towards the goal, each treacherous step, every angst-filled tear all part of the training. What if you’re only one rejection away from the Promised Land? Will you persevere, walking by faith and the determination of a child saved by grace and destined for victorious living, or will you settle in the land of Haran?
A while back, George Lakatos from Grace Community Church in Smithville, MO gave an awesome message (listen to it HERE). To sum it up, the message centered on two biblical characters: Abram (who would later be called Abraham) and his father, Terah. Both men started in the same place, Ur of the Chaldeans. Both men left Ur to embark on a God-ordained journey to the Promised Land, but only one arrived. Terah, the patriarch died at the halfway point, in the land of Haran.
Ur was a wealthy, sophisticated, comfortable city. It must have taken great courage for the men to leave. They had no idea where they were going or how long it would take to get there, but they had God’s promises tucked within their tunics. These promises carried them all the way to Haran, but for Terah, they couldn’t carry him over the hump and into the unknown.
Terah continued as long as the road was easy. He and Abram followed along the Euphrates River, a well-traveled route with access to food and drinking water. They journeyed on foot, each step carrying them farther and farther from the land they knew. Day after day they marched on, the fatigue in their legs growing with each step, their doubts warring for their allegiance. Then they got to Haran, the halfway point, and Terah settled.
Genesis 11:31b (NLT) “He was headed for the landed of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there.
That is a powerful verse. Terah was headed for Canaan, but settled in Haran, where he died fifteen years later, never reaching his final destination. Never seeing the Promised Land.
Have you settled? Are you stuck in Haran, on the halfway point from where you were when God called you to where He wants to take you? It’s time to leave Haran. Abram settled with Terah for fifteen years. Fifteen long, wasted years. But he didn’t stay there indefinitely. After his father died, he gathered his things and resumed his journey.