Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Concrete Mountains

Or "Ashes under the soles of our feet" Part 2

Continuing on from my reflection of a few weeks ago, I won't even bother to ask if you've ever wondered how God's promises can be consistently true when we don't seem to see them borne out in people's lives. I'm sure everybody wonders that at some times. All around us, people seem to be battling problems that seem insurmountable; Christians who consider themselves heirs to God's promises sadly appear to be no different in many cases.

So problems may seem like concrete rather than ash, and our natural instinct is to grab a pick-axe or other heavy excavation tool to come against them with force. We also want to chase those elusive blessings until we nail them down. In the ten years I've been writing books I've had spells of frenetic activity, racing around madly trying to think of new and innovative ways to sell them, driven by terror that I won't get my novels off the ground and the whole thing will crash and burn. And I've collapsed onto my pillow at night, close to tears which surprise me. Often when I think I'm taking something calmly, my body knows differently.

But aren't we supposed to be hard at work, looking after our own interests? You may well ask. The alternative that springs to mind is that we sit around doing nothing but waiting for God to act on our behalf. I've tried this approach too and it works no better.

After a lot of prayer and angst, I believe God has revealed to me that the key is in our attitude. We serenely do what we see before us, we take the next step, but we do it with a peaceful and trusting state of mind. We know that any individual action may fall short of what we intended but it doesn't rattle our composure. The one true friend powerful enough to turn our cement mountains into ash is God Himself. As we do what we see before us, we trust Him to honor our efforts and faith by doing what only He can do. We echo Psalm 90, imploring God to establish the work of our hands and believe that He will do it.

'Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request, "Do as thou hast said." The Creator will not cheat the creature who depends upon His truth and far more, the Heavenly Father will not break His Word to His own child'
Charles H Spurgeon


  1. This makes me think about my own feelings regarding change. I see our lives as being guided in a particular direction. Whenever we steer away from where we are meant to be, we are nudged back to our true purpose. The path to that purpose might not be the easiest road, but sometimes you need the obstacles to let yourself know how much you want something. And sometimes you reach your goals in ways you never thought possible.

    Have you ever read or saw Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture?

    Peace and Laughter,

  2. Great post Paula. What God promises he always does. He is the only constant thing in our ever changing lives. When God places the seed of a promise in my heart it always grows to maturity, in his time. We must also grow and nurture his promise with much prayer and faith. He will do the rest. I love hearing how you wrestle with God, he is certainly up to the challenge! It makes me feel somewhat 'normal' for want of a better word :)

  3. Snap! I've just written a similar post about Waiting on God for the International fiction Writers group.
    You're right Paula, it is definitely about our attitude and not trying to do things in our own strength and way.