A Grand Discovery
It’s only four more days. Four more days before I go skipping off to my Writers’ Adventure in Melbourne. Meeting friends who have a passion for God and a passion for writing has always been invigorating. Spending a few days with many gifted writers, learning my craft has been good for my writer’s soul. Yes, I've been looking forward to our conference all year. Do I sound a little excited?
During the past few weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for the workshop I’m presenting at the conference. I was asked to speak on ‘Making Writer’s Lemonade – Turning Rejection’ into blessing'; one I’d presented before. My previous talk was 10 pages long. I thought I’d cut some of it out and add something new to make it fresh and eloquent. I set to work with great zeal, like an enthusiastic CEO preparing for a Board meeting. During my Quiet time one day, a story from Exodus grabbed my heart. It sounded like the perfect setting for my talk. I put that in. Then added in some more. And more. Very quickly, my talk expanded to 14 pages - a balloon being blown larger by the minute.
A good writer is economical with her words. Alas, I am often too verbose; a toddler who’s just learnt the art of jabbering in her own tongue. So I found it very challenging to cut those 14 pages down to 10. ‘Buckle down, Anusha’ I admonished myself. But then, all at once, a new truth flooded my being. Like opening a Christmas gift and finding inside, a book I’d been waiting to read. Eureka!
Here’s what I discovered. Last year, I shared my workshop with another writer. We each spoke for 30 minutes. But this year was different. I was doing the workshop on my own; which meant I would speak not just for 30 minutes but for one whole hour. What an enlightening discovery. 14 pages were NOT too much. In fact, I could even add a few more pages. Talk of a Grand Discovery. I fine tuned my talk, added more pages and I was still well within my limits. Hooray! I added some finishing touches to my talk eagerly, even putting in a few surprises; to make it all I hoped it would be.
My Grand Discovery reminded me that as a follower of Jesus I sometimes forget my own Grand discovery and live in squalor. Know what I mean?
My Grand Discovery is very simple. It’s also very profound.
God loves me.
God loves me.
God loves me.
Yes. I am His beloved child. Nothing can ever take His love away from me. Jesus died to give me forgiveness from my sin, a brand new life in Him, and an abundant ever-after. To sweep me into His own Grand Story and carry me off into eternity. Isn’t that magnificent? Why is it then that often I forget this truth and forget to live by it? The world today is full of heartache and pain. It’s often very tempting to gaze upon what’s happening around me; and to only glance at Jesus. But aren’t I doing it the wrong way round? Shouldn’t I simply glance at the world around me – and gaze at Jesus instead?
No – I don’t mean I downplay the suffering around me. God’s own heart must grieve deeply in what’s rampant in the world today. Injustice, suffering, sickness, poverty, war, sorrow, death…. the list goes on. Sadly there is a far too much pain in the world. Just last week I listened to a new friend’s story of rejection and abandonment as a child. I feel like weeping now as I reflect upon her story. As disciples of Jesus, He asks us to join hands with Him to bring justice to His world; to provide practical help; to pray for those who suffer; to be the hands and feet of Jesus to them. To share through both word and deed the astounding Good News of the Gospel.
But it is also true that we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is far greater than any suffering – far greater than anything that happens in the world or in our personal lives.
Don’t let the newspaper headlines be your point of reference.
Let the love of Jesus be the place you begin.
Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.
Let the standards of a holy God be your guide and resting place.
Don’t let the sadness of the world steal from the joy that He willingly showers on us.
Instead let’s share that same joy with those who need it so much.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5
“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8