Thursday, May 6, 2010

Preparing


He was the youngest of Jesse's sons. A shepherd by trade. Not your typical choice for a king. But God's plans don't follow man's logic. As the prophet, Samuel, stood before Jesse, one likely candidate after another passed before him. God made it clear to Samuel that He had not chosen any of these young men to be king. Samuel heard the doubt in Jesse's voice when he responded to Samuel's inquiry about other children, "There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep" (1 Samuel 16:11; KJV). Jesse hadn't even thought to call his youngest son, David, to this special gathering, automatically ruling him out as a potential candidate for king.


When David arrived from the fields where he had been tending his father's sheep, the Lord's response to Samuel was immediate, "Arise, anoint him: for this is he" (1 Samuel 16:12). In obedience, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David, "and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward" (1 Samuel 16:13). Chosen by God. The next king of Israel.


Put yourself in David's shoes, or sandals, if you will. One day you're tending your father's sheep, and the next thing you know, the renowned prophet of the Lord appears at your door, vial in hand, and as the lukewarm oil drips off your hair, the Spirit of the Lord grips you! Dozens of questions must have filled David's mind. He certainly didn't feel like a king. How soon would he be moving into the palace? Who would take care of his father's sheep? What would his responsibilities include?


The transition from field to palace spanned many years. Each trial David encountered shaped him for the throne. He proved himself to be devoted to God, and no-doubt developed a close relationship with his Heavenly Father as he spent hours in solitude caring for and protecting his father's sheep. He was a skilled marksman with a slingshot. Yet the same hands that were able to take life, were able to enrich life with beautiful music. David was a talented harpist. He was called upon to use his musical ability when King Saul was tormented with an evil spirit. The beautiful music was able to sooth his soul. What thoughts must have raced through David's mind as he played in Saul's presence, knowing that someday he would occupy the throne!


David's zeal for the Lord was again apparent when he faced the Philistine giant, Goliath. David was incensed that this pagan would dare curse the God of the Israelites. As they drew near one another in battle, David spoke confidently, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand...that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel" (1 Samuel 17:45-46). A great victory was won in Israel that day!


The people now credited David with the slaughter of the Philistines. Saul saw the people's response and jealousy was swift to follow. David became a 'wanted' man. Hunted by King Saul, and on the run for his life, David became a skilled warrior in the process. Each skill he was acquiring would be essential for his reign as king. At least fifteen years passed between David's initial anointing and when he took the throne. Each trial he encountered served to prepare him for the job God had for him.


The writer's journey to publication is no different. Seldom is a writer awarded a contract without a lot of hard work and effort. The journey is a long one, fraught with successes and failures along the way. Being willing to invest the time and discipline necessary to hone the craft are essential. Writing, editing, and re-writing are all part of the mix. Rejections mold character and perseverance. Attending conferences, making connections and learning my own strengths and weaknesses further prepares me for what God has laid before me. Although I have no idea how long it will take for my dream of publication to become a reality, I am confident, like David, that each hurdle I encounter along the way will serve to prepare me to be a better writer!


How about you? Can you see how God is orchestrating things in your life, to better prepare you for the job He's calling you to do? I'd love to hear about it!

13 comments:

  1. Annie - So good to see your smiling face! Allow God to use this preparation time to mold you into whatever He has for you! God bless!

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  2. Great post Maria. You do such a wonderful job with your devotionals that it would be an honor to read your book. I self-published a book of poetry some time ago, but I honestly think that God is preparing me for a time to publish what's on my heart. I haven't gone to any conferences but I've been checking them out as well as writing courses. In the meantime I am constantly studying His word as that is my foundation. I will let Him lead one step at a time.

    Blessings,
    Vickie

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  3. As I was reading your beautiful narration of King David, I was completely surprised that it transitioned into a lesson for writers!

    I really needed to read that as I am struggling with some of the changes I am having to make in the final editing process of my children's book. I have had that dark cloud of foreboding looming over my head.

    Thank you for the encourgement! Apparently God isn't allowing me to "escape" from finishing! I had decided to do some blog reading instead of working on it, and then I came across THIS!

    What is funny is that if your post title had a name that had anything to do with editing, I would have probably not come here! Pretty sneaky!

    Have a blessed week and thank you again!

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  4. All the pieces of our lives fit together to make the big picture that God has designed for us. I reflect on my life to date and can see this. Not sure what the future holds but trust Him to work it for good. Liked the comparison in this post:)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  5. Since I was young God has been guiding me through strange places, molding me, turning me into a writer. I still have no idea where I'm going. I just have to trust him and keep writing.

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  6. What a wonderful reminder!! Thanks so much for stopping by A Steady Rain yesterday! I'm looking forward to exploring your blog and getting to know you better through it!! Hope you have a wonderful Friday! =)

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  7. Thank you Maria for this great post! I loved what you wrote about David and then you brought it home to us.

    Over the past two years, God has really been working in my life. At times I have felt like I was in a cocoon trying to emerge as a butterfly. As I look back over the last two years, I see little things that God did in me to bring me to this point. It's pretty exciting - and I am not done yet!

    Blessings to you!

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  8. Vickie - Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! I loved reading about your plans as God develops you as a writer. Staying in His word IS paramount. Have a lovely weekend! God bless!

    Michelle - So glad the Lord could use this post to speak to your heart! I'd love to hear more about your children's book! I'll be praying for grace as you edit away! God bless and have a fantastic weekend!

    Karen - You're such a faithful commentor on my site - I appreciate you! Good to hear that you're dedicated to allowing God to finish the good work He's begun in you! You go, Karen!! Have a truly blessed weekend!

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  9. Diana - So good to see your smiling face! Looking forward to heading over to your blog today to catch up! Have a blessed weekend & happy Mother's Day!

    Lynda - Thank you for sharing so honestly! Sometimes writing is a bit like walking in the dark isn't it? I'm thrilled that the Lord offers His light to guide us one step at a time! Blessings!

    Rachel - Welcome! Thanks for following Life Lessons! I look forward to getting to know you and sharing this writer's journey together. Have a blessed weekend and happy Mother's Day!

    Donna - What an encouragement to read about what God has done over the last two years in your life! It IS extremely exciting to know that the growth process lasts a lifetime! He's continuing to mold us into His likeness! Have a blessed weekend!

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  10. Maria, this is a great reminder that God's process in our lives takes time. Sometimes I can forget that when I read the Bible in a short span of time, though it records the events of years. And what an application to those who write ... :) Yes, I am sure that this stage of my life is preparation for the next.

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  11. A wonderful post ...and you have such a GIFT for writing! I too was surprised at your lesson for a writer! Seems that I too cannot escape as another commented...I've had a desire to publish a book for years so started with a blog (my watering wells of hope) now journaling another story of God's Grace.

    Thank you for the encouragement..and so glad to have found you by way of the KJV blogroll.

    God bless..
    HOPE

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