I have never suffered from Writer’s Block! But I think I have had it lately… well, in the last 6 months or so. Writer’s Block. Who Me? Why am I having such a hard time with writing again? There has been so much happen in the past several months I just don’t know where to start. There have been many times when God has pointed something out to me that spoke to my heart. I was going to write about it that evening and it just never would feel right.
I am one that has to feel it before I write one word. I have to feel God speak to my heart to say “This is something…” and then when I sit down to write, I pray the entire time I am writing and searching for scripture. Why? So I can make sure it’s His message and not mine. Writer’s Block. Who Me?
By the time there is quiet time, it seems I am so tired and all I can think to do is to play a stupid game or read a few pages and close my eyes. I remember when I would stay up until midnight writing and researching scripture and commentaries to complete my post. It doesn’t seem that there is time for that any longer. Why? I want to know why!? Writer’s Block. Who Me?
When I was so prolific in my writing I was working in a call center. I had a mindless job and when I got home I didn’t really have a lot on my mind. There wasn’t really any stress in that job… well, there was some, but not like when I was a Trainer or Project Manager. Anyway, it seemed so easy to write at night then. I had an outlet for my energy that I had built up all day. Many times I would write during the day and then type it at night. There were times between calls that allowed the writing and then sometimes it was constant phone ringing. Nonetheless, I wrote almost every day. I got a lot of good stuff written too! I reread some of my posts and ask myself… did I really write this? Then I remember… ahhhh… well, God and I did.
I just looked back and saw that the last post was exactly one month ago, July 7th. That was about a friend’s new website that I helped him with. The post is here – Hello Baseball Fans. This was not my normal post. It was one to introduce you to his new website. I had fun helping with that and it did consume a lot of my time and energy. It was an experience for both him and me. I was so glad to have been able to help. Check it out… especially if you are a baseball fan! You will love it!
So, one month ago I was talking about baseball. This post will be about something much different. Something that most of you, if not all, can relate to and understand. Let me explain.
Tonight I was not feeling very well. I have begun to feel a little sick, like I felt in January and February when I had pneumonia. It is not something that ever want to relive or wish on my worst enemy. Anyway, my dad invited me to watch a church service with them. I used to watch it with them years ago and enjoyed it then. I wasn’t doing anything particularly so I sat down and watched. The music that this church sang was always good. Mostly old hymns. I really love the old foundational hymns. Some folks simply don’t like the old hymns and only go for the new Contemporary worship. I enjoy that too. I just like a mix.
Then the pastor began to give his sermon. It was quite interesting. It was on Jonah. If you don’t know anything about Jonah you can read it here. It is a rather short book. Only four chapters in all. The general gist of the story, as the pastor told it, is Jonah was called by God to go to a city to preach against their evil ways. Jonah didn’t want to go so he fled as far as he could go. The Bible states Jonah went to Joppa and boarded a ship there to go to Tarshish which would have been about 2,000 miles from where he was. But he didn’t quite make it to Tarshish.
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil[a] has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
The preacher pointed out that Tarshish was about 2,000 miles from where Jonah was. He really wanted to get away from God. No telling how much it cost him to travel to Tarshish by ship. Well, it really did cost him a lot more than the money he had on his person. It cost him spiritually, too.
Jonah was trying to run from God, but I think we all know that is impossible. God is everywhere. I cannot imagine what Jonah was thinking. Jonah was a prophet of God in those days. He had seen what God could do! He knew God and walked with Him regularly… all the time. He was a prophet!
Well, one thing about it though… he was human. Ahhh yes, human! The human factor seems to always raise its not so pretty head in the thick of things. Well, Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because Nineveh was not liked. Where Jonah lived was being controlled by the Assyrians. Nineveh was Assyrian territory.
Here is an excerpt from a document I found on the internet. The website is Entrusting the Word and the document is here. The document is actually a PowerPoint presentation. I will say I have not researched everything on this website and I may or may not believe what they believe. I just wanted to share the link so you could do a little checking for yourself – if you wish. I also liked the information presented about Jonah and the map.
“Israel in the Reign of Jeroboam II
Jeroboam II (c. 793-753 B.C.) was king of Israel. “He was, in fact, the greatest and longest-reigning of all the kings who reigned over the northern kingdom. In a moral and religious sense there was little to choose between him and his evil predecessors on the throne, but in military prowess, he remarkably excelled. His recaptured and newly annexed territories reached up as far as Hamath, over 200 miles north of Samaria, so that his domain became almost as extensive as David’s has been! – and all this is plainly said to have been the fulfillment of a prophecy by ‘Jonah, the son of Ammitai, the prophet which was of Gathhepher.’… Gathhepher is now identified with a village name El Meshed some miles north of Nazareth, in Zebulon, where, according to a firm tradition dating back to Jerome’s time, the tomb of Jonah is pointed out even to this day.
“Incidentally, the reference to 2 Kings fixes the time of Jonah’s ministry. It was during the later years of Joash, and (presumably) the earlier years of Jeroboam II. He would probably be one of the leaders among the ‘school of prophets’ when Elisha was nearing the end of his remarkable ministry” (Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book, p. 148). Since the days of King Omri (c. 885-874 B.C.) the northern kingdom had been attacked by Syria and Assyria.
The Israelites particularly hated and feared Assyria because its growth as an empire threatened their national security. In the midst of that tension, God called Jonah to go to the capital of Assyria: “The word of the Lord came unto Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me” (Jonah 1:1-2). We know little about Jonah, but his name means “dove,” symbolic of a messenger of peace.”
Back to Jonah and his … “running” from God. I can say that I have done this. In my past for sure and in the not so distant past, also. I know logically that this is a silly thing to do. It simply makes no sense to do so. Because God is everywhere! He is with us when we sleep. He is with us when we are in the shower. He is with us when we are driving, eating, working, playing, etc. He is everywhere! He is Spirit! (John 4:24 – “God Is Spirit…”) So He can be everywhere all at the same time! I am so grateful for that too! We never have to wait for our turn in the Que or never have to take a number to get an audience with God. He loves to talk to us and loves to hear us call His name. He is waiting now to hear from you. Just call out to Him. He will answer.
One thing He does not like is for us to ignore Him or not be obedient to His call. I know I have heard God tell me to do something and I have not done it. For example, writing a blog post. I have heard so many times in the last six months… “Leah, this is a good thing to write about.” It seems that I have had writer’s block. I used to immediately make a note so I could write about it as soon as I got home or to a place to write. Now, the note is taken, but it gets put in a stack just like the rest of them. I can’t seem to actually sit down and write about any of the notes I have taken. I have NEVER had “writer’s block” to where I couldn’t find something to write about. I am very seldom without words. Writer’s Block. Who Me?
So… tonight when I heard that sermon on doing what God has called us to do, I felt very convicted. I know God has called me to write. I don’t write about the usual things that you would expect a devotional blog to be about. I write about every day things that coincide with my walk with God. I write just like I speak. I try to not be too “churchy” with my writing, either. I love to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for me with my writing. He has changed my life and I know when I hear that familiar, still, small voice, I am to respond with “Here I am, Lord” and follow through. Unlike Jonah that tried to run as far as he could. Writer’s Block. Who Me? Let me start tonight!
You know, Jonah never made it to Tarshish. I am sure you know the story of Johan and the whale. I loved what the preacher said tonight about the whale swallowing Jonah. Jonah was thrown overboard by the fellas on the ship (read the story – it’s quite interesting – Jonah 1). He said that the Lord provided a safe place for Jonah (albeit in the belly of that whale) until he came to his senses. So after Jonah prayed a prayer to God, the whale got rid of him out of his belly.
2 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying,
“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
3 For you cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
5 The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
6 at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.
7 When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
8 Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
So, yes, Jonah got swallowed by a whale, but God provided that whale to protect him from drowning. Isn’t that just like God! He provides a safe place (it may not be the most comfortable but safe) for us until we come to our senses and say… “OK, OK, Lord. You win!” Maybe not in those words, but you get the picture.
So the question is this. Have you heard from God and are you trying to either pretend that you really didn’t hear that still, small voice in your heart or are you running as far away as you can from God? Are you avoiding doing what God has called you to do? If He has called you to it, He has equipped you for it.
I can tell you that if you step in that direction, He will guide you the whole way. He will provide you with whatever it is you need to do the job He has asked you to do. Mine is writing and telling others about my walk with my Savior Jesus and how God in His infinite wisdom and grace, provided His one and only Son to save me from myself and my sins.
Jesus can save you also. He wants to walk with you daily and help you through any problems and doubts you may have. If you click this website name here – Bible.org you can read about what it means to be a Christ follower. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message. If I don’t know the answer, I will be happy to find out and get the answer for you.
God loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved!
Listen to Charles Billingsley sing “For God So Loved the World”. It’s a wonderful song!
Video – God So Loved the World