Over Labor Day weekend, I decided to tackle a long-neglected area of my yard. I pulled out weeds and cleared brush.
The weather was hot, so I wore a short sleeve shirt. Only later did I realize that I must have tangled with some Poison Oak when large red welts began to appear on my arms. The damage was not pretty.
As soon as I noticed the allergic reaction, I began to treat the affected areas. I also prayed—asking Jesus to heal me. In my prayer, I reminded God that I was only doing what he wanted me to do—to subdue the Earth and rule over it (Genesis 1:28).
While praying, I was reminded that God told Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you; …It will produce thorns and thistles for you” (Genesis 3:17-18).
I had certainly run into some nasty thorns and thistles. As I pondered this, I got to thinking that we don’t just run into thorns and thistles while doing yardwork. We also run into thorns and thistles in other areas when we assert dominion.
As a Christian author or publisher, you run into thorns and thistles in the writing, publishing, and marketing of your books. After all, your writing is part of ruling with God on the Earth (Go into all the world and make disciples).
As a Christian author or publisher, you run into all sorts of thorns and thistles like:
- Computer crashes where work is lost
- Cancelled events
- Lost packages when shipping books
- Money spent on advertising that does not bring results
- Book launches that flop
It’s good to remember that while we have to deal with thorns and thistles, that is not all that our work produces.
In the same sentence that God tells Adam “It will produce thorns and thistles for you”, God also says:
“…and you will eat the plants of the field.”
We may run into thorns and thistles, but our work will also bring about fruit. So, while you are struggling with the thorns and the thistles, take heart, good crop is also growing. Your efforts—taken for the glory of God—are not made in vain.
Trust God. Ask him to bless your work. He is faithful and tends the seeds that you plant with your books. Good fruit will come—even though you have to fight the thorns and the thistles in the process.
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Photo courtesy of Dimitri.