I had waited for months. My article had been accepted. It was to be published in January or February. January came and went. February is rapidly coming to a close. Two days ago I decided to call the magazine publisher. The young lady on the other end of the line was extremely courteous and eager to help. She remembered reading my article, yet was unable to find it as she searched through recent editions of the magazine. I gave her my number and she assured me she would give me a status update as soon as she located my article.
The call came yesterday. The managing editor was so grateful for my call of the previous day. She let me know I had cleared up a growing mystery. I was stunned to find out why. My article had indeed been published in their January issue. The only problem was, the by-line had been credited to another author! Major oops! Puzzled, the other author had called them to let them know that she had not written the article. Now this was a problem!
The editor apologized profusely and assured me that a note of correction would be printed in the magazine's April edition. Great! I was trying to imagine readers eagerly scanning the magazine's April correction column and thinking, "Oh, that fantastic article I read in the January edition was really by Maria Morgan and not Ms. So-And-So! She's a good writer, I'll have to check out her blog and other articles she's written!" Not likely...
Then it hit me. All I could do was laugh. The Lord knew I needed a lesson in humility. I'd been more interested in adding that piece to my 'published articles' list, than just allowing God to use it in whatever way He saw fit. Now He had my attention, and humble pie was on the menu!
It's so easy to drift. Unless I consciously submit my writing to the Lord on a daily basis and allow Him to use it, I begin to compare myself with other writers and feel myself slipping into 'competition' mode. It IS important to do my best. Not for the wrong reason - my glory. But always for the right reason - for the honor and glory of God.
The book of Proverbs contains a wealth of wisdom. As the wisest man on earth, King Solomon put things in the proper perspective, "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility" (Proverbs 15:33; KJV). Eyes must be focused on Him and not self. Things done for the advancement of His kingdom, not my own advancement. I'm reminded of the words of John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). Something that doesn't come naturally. I must consciously decide to submit to His will. "...Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34b).
When I choose to clothe myself with humility, take a look at the great gift I receive, "...for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5c). His gift of grace. What my dictionary defines as, "the state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God." Wow! I'll take God's grace over credit for an article any day!
In addition to learning a valuable lesson, there is a silver lining to my experience. The managing editor said they loved my writing and encouraged me to continue sending them articles that will be published with my by-line! Isn't God good?! What lesson is God teaching you, today?