There are two dreams I’ve held in my heart for as long as I can remember. There have been other dreams as well but they’ve either been realized or I cut my losses and rowed on. But these two dreams I have always believed I will go down with them in the boat rather than give them up,
The dream today on my restless heart, troubling my spirit is my dream to be a published author of Christian fiction. Along with this I dream of being successful enough at the craft that readers laugh out loud, cheer the characters on, wish they could live in this book’s world, find godly inspiration for their own life and cry when someone dies or grieves before the last word is read. These are the types of books that have fed my soul through nearly 50 years.
I can’t write the Bible, I can use its lessons to help characters overcome life’s obstacles. I dream my fiction writing turns readers towards Jesus and the Bible.
This has been my dearest, most treasured dream. And at last God has set before me the opportunity to really focus on my writing. I have the time. I have the technology, resources, life experience and a published author who is willingly mentoring me.
I am blowing it!
Right out of the gate I have gotten cold feet. I’m flat out scared.
If God allows me this desire of my heart I can never go back to finding some sense of okayness with looking at the dream through a telescope. People are going to expect me to write another novel and then another and what if I can’t?
If in allowing me this opportunity and I am not good at it, if all I find are rejection letters in my mailbox what then?
Afraid to fail. Afraid to succeed.
My study in the Book of John in the New Testament this week has begun with chapter 6, verses 1-15. Today I was focusing on verses 5-9 a lot. “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each to have one bite!’ Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’ ”
There are four people in this section of scripture and four viewpoints on how to solve the problem. Let’s start with the boy whose name is unknown to us. Someone, either his mother or a sister or perhaps himself packed the boy a lunch before he went to find Jesus. No doubt, he was in a hurry, afraid he couldn’t catch up with the others following this man of miracles. Yet his part in this passage is vital. He provided the “little” Jesus would turn into “much”. No doubt he believed Jesus needed the lunch more than he did for he showed or told Andrew about his food. The boy knew it wasn’t much but he knew Jesus could use it.
Now for Philip. Philip looked at the crowd numbering over 5000 (see verse 10) men, women and children and saw the cost of feeding them even one bite. To be fair Jesus did ask him where they should buy bread but Jesus didn’t ask Philip how much money it would cost. Philip saw the need but before thinking of where to get enough bread to feed the crowd Philip was seeing money signs. He was calculating the average daily wage time the cost of a loaf of bread times the number of people and after eight months he was throwing up his hands saying it couldn’t be done.
Andrew’s view matches that of the little boy a bit more than Philip’s. At least Andrew makes some effort to meet the need. He knew they needed food and that is what he inquired about. His inquires didn’t seem to amount to much in his viewpoint though. Five small barley loaves and two small fishes would barely feed the boy, much less thousands of people. Still he tells Jesus of what the boy has offered.
The most important viewpoint is that of Jesus. He only asked Philip where bread could be bought to test him. Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Jesus had been preparing to meet this need long before the crowd gathered to follow Him.
What test did Philip fail? What test did Andrew fail? Though they both saw the need neither of them had faith enough that Jesus could meet that need. They witnessed Jesus turn water into wine but they didn’t remember that well enough to even pause and think, “Maybe I should ask Jesus what He has planned.”
Much like me, I thought, this morning. I see the need. I see the opportunity. I am not trusting Jesus to meet my need.
But He will. If I succeed it will be by His guidance and inspiration and provision. If I fail He will give me a new dream.
I must be like the boy in the scripture above, I must bring my little and turn it over to Jesus to make it into much. Nor can I forget God has it worked out already, my needs He is preparing to supply. In Genesis 22:13-14 the Hebrew name for God is Jehovah-Jireh, meaning “The Lord will provide”. I must trust He will.
God’s blessings upon you,