“The perseverance of the saints is only possible because of the perseverance of God.”
J. Oswald Sanders
My book, Restoring Your Heart to Deepen Intimacy, has been in the making for fifteen years. God has taught me many truths over the course of that time, with perseverance being at the top of the list. “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4). Perseverance gave birth to patience as I waited for God’s “fullness of time” with the birthing of the book.
I learned I can’t rush the process. There are no shortcuts to character building. If a contractor cuts corners on the quality of the supplies or hastens the building process to have a house completed, it may produce an inferior home. So too hurrying the publishing of a book can be detrimental not only to the product, but also regarding my character development. One literary agent encouraged me to let my manuscript “breathe” and that takes time.
I believe one of the reasons why this process took as long as it did was because God loved me enough to have delays. He wanted to make sure that when the book was published, I would have my identity firmly cemented in being His daughter. God knew how harmful it could be for me and for my relationship with Him, if my self-worth and value were based in being a published author.
The Lord taught me the discipline of writing, of making it a habit, even when I didn’t want to write. He wanted my love for Him to be displayed by my obedience in writing for Him. As a result, I developed internal motivation, instead of depending on the external or tangible gratification. I found my reward to be in the process as my relationship deepened with Jesus.
Another lesson I learned from writing a book was to face my fears and to embrace my weaknesses, for that is the place of greatest freedom. I also gained understanding in trusting myself and what I heard God speaking to me, even if it meant being different. The biggest take away from the process of book writing, is I discovered who God created me to be - a writer. I’m eternally grateful that God finishes what He starts: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion...” (Philippians 1:6).
“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
1. How has God developed perseverance within you?
2. If you’re in the middle of a long-term assignment from God, ask Him to help you persevere.