Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And The Walls Came Crumbling Down

I recently reached the six year mark at my current job. It’s significant because this is the place God provided for me when he pulled me away from a lucrative position with the state in order to focus on my writing. Now I work at a job where I make less money, have a degree I don’t use, and from a worldly perspective have made little notable progress in my writing endeavor. I confess it’s hard to see God at work sometimes when I look at those facts.

How appropriate then that God has led me this week to the book of Joshua and the story about the fall of Jericho. In it, God commanded Joshua to march once around the city with armed men for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times, then blow the trumpets and give a loud shout. If they followed these instructions, God promised the walls of Jericho would collapse. But what if Joshua hadn’t continued to the seventh day? What if he’d given up after the sixth day? Or the sixth circle around the city? If he hadn’t followed God to the very end, he would not have seen the victory.

So as I was preparing this morning to leave for my annual writing conference, some things occurred to me. It’s no coincidence God led me to this passage this week. I hadn’t been studying Joshua—I’ve been focusing my studies lately on women of the bible—but this six thing has gotten my attention because I do feel as if I’ve been circling for the past six years, waiting and searching for a crack in the defense of the publishing world, a way to break through the wall that at times seems so large and impenetrable. But I know God’s plan for me. He wants me on the other side of that wall. So armed with scripture and prayer, I’ve been quietly marching towards that goal. Now I’m into my seventh year. Is it time to blow the trumpets and shout to the Lord? Is this the year I’ll finally see the walls crumble?

I hope so.

“When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when these people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged in, and they took the city.” Joshua 6:20


Saturday, September 17, 2011

It all started with a choice.

As Eve stood in the garden eying the fruit from the forbidden tree, do you think she had any idea how far-reaching the consequences of her choice would be? That her disobedience would separate her from God? Or how difficult life would be for her and her husband? Did she realize her children would know sorrow and pain and death? It’s doubtful such thoughts crossed her mind. Who would make such a choice knowing the outcome would be so severe? But the more I study Eve, the more I realize we are the same. Although I will never be the first to plunge humanity into sin, each day I awake to choices and decisions that must be made, and I face the same choice she faced—obey or disobey.

We all live with the results of bad choices—debt, excess weight, strained relationships—but every choice we make has an outcome, good or bad. Becoming a woman on consequence means striving to make decisions that result in consequences that benefit instead of harm, that cause us to move forward instead of being chained to the past. But how can we make this happen when often we’re not even aware of why we do what we do? As with all things, the bible provides the answer. God has given us a wonderful source of lessons from women who’ve made decisions, some good and some bad, that have affected generaations. By studying them and understanding the logic, emotions and outcomes of the choices they made, we can become more aware of our own decisions and the reasons behind them. And, hopefully, the more aware we become, the better choices we will make.

So join me on this journey as we delve into the lives of women of the bible and through their lessons, hopefully become women of consequence.


Because you can’t move forward when you’re chained to the past.