May 27, 2008

By Faith, Not By Sight

It’s been longer than usual between postings partly because I’ve been busy with actual paying work. Partly because of the long weekend. And partly because of writers’ block—three partially written articles wait for an ending I can’t seem to locate.

I thought writing would get easier with time and in fact, it’s gotten harder. Struggling with ideas and being unable to finish articles has caused me to question my purpose as a writer. A few months ago when I started this blog, I was so excited to start a new adventure. I felt an incredible sense of God’s presence in my writing and the insights came quickly and (fairly) coherently. I experienced God in a way I never had before. It was exhilarating.

Now my thoughts are jumbled and God’s leading seems distant.

I wonder, should I stop writing? Did I misinterpret God’s calling? Did He only need me for a short while and now He’s moved on to another writer? I’ve prayed and earnestly asked God to guide my next steps. Thankfully He answered those prayers—not with a definitive answer, but with insight.

We’ve had some great weather here lately, but last week one day in particular was incredible. It was the kind of day we get just a few times a year. The sky was rich turquoise, the light and shadows razor-sharp, the foliage radiant and the clouds like sculptures. Even the strip malls looked magnificent! My heart quickened as the photographer in me wanted to grab my camera and dive in.

I think our relationship with God can be like this. Once in a while we experience the Almighty in a profound way. For brief moments we see Him clearly and crisply. We directly feel the Spirit guiding our purposes. We savor the view.

It’s the kind of experience we want to last forever.

And someday it will. But here on earth our view is obscured. “Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

Just because I see God dimly, doesn’t mean He is any less present in my life. In answer to my prayers for direction, I received and have meditated on this verse: “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) Faith is not about emotion and certainty. It’s about choice—choosing to persevere when the outlook is hazy. Faith means we keep on keeping on even when it doesn’t seem like we’re making much progress.

Look at the saints in the “Faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11. Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab. They all chose faith when their circumstances (and I’m sure their feelings) said otherwise. They chose to believe God’s promises even though they never fully received what was promised.

Noah spent decades building the ark, Sarah waited 25 years for a baby and Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years. I struggled with writing for just a month. Why am I so impatient?!

For now, God’s gentle guiding has set me straight and started the words to flow again. Until I sense His directing me otherwise, I will persevere. Who knows what He has in store for me, or for any of us? I do believe when we live by faith, not by sight, God's plans are so much more incredible than any we could ever devise. We just need some patience.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some unfinished stories to attend to.

7 comments:

danregan said...

Kel - do NOT under any circumstances stop writing! This is really good stuff, and even better insights. God's still guiding it!

Peggy said...

Kelli Dear,
I'm in Dan's corner (don't stop writing). You are doing more good than you can imagine.
Yes, patience is sometimes almost impossible, but we know that Our Heavenly Father has it all mapped out in His time for His Children.
I finally feel that after 62 years my life is finally being fulfilled by God's power in me. I love my job, just wish I could work more, (but I know that will come). My life is finally settleing, and healing is almost complete. I know with PATIENCE all will be done in God's time, not mine.
Keep on with your witness and know that all your brothers and sisters in Christ are right beside you.
Blessings and Love, Peggy

Patty said...

Kelli! Please don't stop writing. Even though we know how important patience is, it's still one of those life lessons we still need to be reminded of. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one with questions!
Patty

Katherine said...

Kelli-

NO you should not stop writing and NO you did not misinterpret God's call. He guides us to His will and THEN once we are on the path He looks for us to seek out His direction. Continue to stay on track.

Blessings!
Katherine

Sonya said...

Hi I am going to the She Speaks Conf. and I came over from Lysa's site. You know, I have been really encouraged by reading a book called "for the write reason". It's written by authors, speakers and editors and it is great to see the "real" struggles of their lives. I highly recomend the book. It was edited by Marybeth Walen of P31. It's on her blog if you want to check it out! Glad you didn't stop writing!!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Oh sweet sister... I've written 11 books and I can still relate to your post!

I think it's good for us to go through seasons of wondering if we're really supposed to do this because it presses us into God himself.

Looking forward to seeing you at She Speaks soon!

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, can I ever relate to the doubts writers face at times. Like Sonya, I've read "For The Write Reason" and found it very helpful. Another good one is Marlene Bagnull's "Write His Answer". Also, I just recently had a devotion included in "Daily Devotions for Writers", a project of The Writing Academy (see my current blog post). I hope it will prove to be a real blessing to writers as well. Stay encouraged --
you're a good writer!