As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I heard how ridiculous they sounded.
“I don’t know if I can do this again. It was just so hard.” Those were the words I whined into the telephone, not long after I’d finished my first book — the one that comes out in April.
It was the book that God has been wooing me to write for years. The book that broke my heart wide open. And the book that let me know, more than I’d ever known before, how deeply loved and treasured I am by the Maker.
Yeah. It was hard to write. Really hard. Bang-your-head-against-the-keyboard-at-midnight heart. Cry-on-the-strong-shoulder-of-your-husband hard. You don’t tap out 55,000 words, and it not be “hard.”
But now, I was telling my friend that I didn’t know if I could write another book, ever again, because it was “too hard.”
My friend didn’t miss a beat. “But did God call you to write that book?”
Well. Yes. Of course He did.
“So,” she said, “are you telling me that if God calls you to write another book, if God calls you to do anything, that the difficulty of the task will determine whether you say yes or no?”
I want to live the right answer to her question. I want God to have my yes.
I don’t want to be ruled by my comfort. I don’t want to be bossed around by my perceived weaknesses, and the enemy’s lie that the tasks before me are too hard.
Will God not strengthen me? Is His arm too short? I should say not.
Yet, I wonder this: how often have I turned my back on a Kingdom call, because I knew it would hurt. Because I knew it would be hard. Because I was frightened by the size of it — that it was either too big, or too small, or it didn’t seem to fit at all.
How often have I picked earthly comfort over Christ?
I want God to have my best yeses. I want God to see my hand raised. When the Lord asks the question — “Whom shall I send?” — I want to unflinchingly utter these two words: “Send me!”
“Hard” is quite often a byproduct of your calling. “Hard” is the stone-cold floor of Paul’s prison. “Hard” is drop-your-nets-and-follow-the-Teacher. “Hard” is pick up your cross. Hard is the way of the missionary, the tireless work of the saints, the suffering of your dying Savior.
Look: I’ve been “about” my comfort. But God? He has been about my character.
And yes, He is the Comforter, too. But perhaps I’ve misunderstood what “comfort” really means.
I search online, and find it, in the Latin.
Comfort: com + fortis
with + strong
Our Comforter? He is strong with us. He is with us, making us strong.
com + fortis
This kind of comfort? It’s a game-changer.
God’s comfort, Amy Carmichael writes, “is not soft, weakening commiseration; it is true, strengthening love.”
When the call is hard, your Comforter “is strong with you.”
When the way is long, your Comforter is making you strong for the journey.
When your mission field looks too daunting, your call too difficult, your cross too heavy, your dream too dreamy, your God-assignment too hard, the door too heavy? Put your hand to the doorknob anyway. Walk through.
And feel the hand of the Comforter on the small of your back, strong with you.
What do you sense God calling you to, in 2014?
Submitted in community with Michelle DeRusha.
Photos submitted as part of Tweetspeak Poetry’s photo challenge.