to a new month, friends! Last month I introduced the topic of
perseverance and shared some thoughts from the life of Noah.
Freelancers must learn to hang in there, even when the going gets
tough. (Especially when the going gets tough.) This month we’re going
to forge ahead with our teaching.
Noah Persevered Through
the Building Process
The work that God called Noah to do was tedious and probably
overwhelming at times. Consider these instructions from the Lord: “So
make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with
pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be
450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and
finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side
of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks” (NIV).
Details, details, details! So
much work to do, and so little time to do it. Sound familiar? Likely
you’re faced with a tedious amount of work as you “build” yourself as a
writer, but consider this amazing verse: “And let us not be weary in
well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9
So go ahead and take those
classes. Go to conferences. Write, write, and rewrite your manuscript.
Face those critique partners head-on. Submit to publishing houses. And
through it all, remind yourself that God is the One who’s really doing
the work—in and through you! Continue to write those articles to
support yourself until that novel sells. (And also remember—the harvest
• Do you ever feel overwhelmed
with all of the work that goes into
• Which “details” do you dislike most?
Noah Persevered in the
When I think of Noah, I imagine him singing, “Raindrops keep falling on
my head.” Here’s how the Bible describes what happened: “All the
springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the
heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty
nights. . . . For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as
the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The
waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on
the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the
high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose
and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet” (Gen. 7:
11–12, 17–20 NIV).
Talk about a storm of immense
proportions! And yet, we understand such storms because we’ve all been
through them, especially those of us who are called to write. But
here’s a great promise from Scripture, one I’ve learned to lean on:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you
pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk
through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you
ablaze” (Isa. 43:2 NIV).
• Have you been through a stormy
season in your writing?
• Did you ever feel like you were about to drown?
• How do you feel about the promise in Isaiah 43:2?
Noah Persevered Through
Can you imagine Noah and his family members on the ark? Feeding
animals, tending to their needs. What a day-in, day-out chore taking
care of so many, as well as their personal needs! And yet Noah
persevered through it all. We can too. When the “everydayness” kicks in
(when you don’t feel like writing, don’t feel like learning the craft,
don’t feel like putting in the hours to edit/reshape your manuscript),
think of Noah. He couldn’t get off the boat, and (if you’re truly
called by God to write), neither can you!
love this Scripture in 1 Timothy 4:16: “Watch your life and doctrine
closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both
yourself and your hearers” (NIV). Now here comes the hard part. Sit
down in that chair. Don’t waver. Get creative (even when you don’t feel
like it), and write. Look for the small miracles and the
“God-encounters” in each day. Never be afraid of the everydayness. God
will honor your diligence.
• What is one of your biggest
• How can you persevere beyond that thing?
• Do you ever get bored with writing?
• How can you persevere beyond the boredom/frustrations?
Noah Persevered Through
Can you imagine traveling on the ark with Noah and his clan? It wasn’t
just the preparation. It wasn’t just the forty days on the rolling
seas. Imagine (after a lengthy trip bobbing up and down) sending out a
raven in search of dry land, only to hear you have to stay onboard
awhile longer. Talk about dashing your hopes! Can you imagine the
Here’s the story from Genesis:
“After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and
sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had
dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water
had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find no
place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of
the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand
and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark” (Gen. 8:
As writers, we know just what
that feels like. We’ve done the work . . . traveled the high seas (done
what the Lord asked us to do), polished and submitted our manuscripts,
and waited (sometimes for months), only to face bitter disappointment.
So, what’s a weary author to do
when faced with letdowns? Our answer is found in Hebrews 11:1: “Now
faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen” (KJV). When I read this verse, I am reminded that the things I
don’t see today will likely be seen tomorrow. Oh, not a literal
tomorrow—but eventually. I can’t give up hope. Good things will come. I
cannot let my disappointments overwhelm me in the meantime.
• What disappointments have you
• Do you have the faith to go on believing, even after facing
I’ve given you a lot to chew on,
writers! I’ll be back next month to share more from Noah’s journey. In
the meantime . . . persevere!