Virtual Voices

A pleasant problem

Faith & Inspiration

"'Behold, the days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet with wine, and all the hills shall flow with it'" (Amos 9:13).

This is a picture of abundance of blessing for God's people, both now that Christ has come, and even more at his second coming. What happens when the plowman overtakes the reaper and the treader the sower? Well, you nearly have a traffic jam for all the tangle of arms and rototillers. But it is a pleasant predicament, no? There is so much grace raining down (pressed down, running over) that you don't have enough buckets to catch it all.

I have a little problem like that myself. It's about this writing job. When the Lord dropped it into my lap 12 years ago next November, I said, "OK, Lord, but when I run out of ideas I run out of ideas." It was scary enough when it was just a magazine and they published only weekly, and I was not committed to a schedule. When He added the daily blog job ("bricks without straw," I thought), I said to the Lord that this is going too far: I have never had an idea per day all my life.

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But it turns out that's exactly what I have---an idea per day. Which is a nice modern illustration of the story of that other widow, the one in Zarephath, whose needs were divinely met not through a one-time lottery jackpot (that she could store in the barn and not have to pray every day) but through the torturously daily faithfulness of God:

"For thus says the Lord the God of Israel, 'The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.' And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty . . ." (1 Kings 17:14-16).

Nothing gourmet about either that widow's diet or this widow's blog ideas. But the regularity is the point. And I have developed a very modest view of what I do, taking my tip from the Apostle Paul, who assessed a career's-worth of his own words as simply "what was helpful" (Acts 20:20). Don't win the Pulitzer Prize, just be "helpful."

The problem is that sometimes God sends not one but two or three little ideas a day. Unfortunately, He does not send, along with that, a lengthening of the hours of the day as He obligingly did for Joshua (Joshua 10:13). When that happens I have ended up with a bottleneck because, as a matter of fact, I have other things to do around here than take dictation from the Holy Spirit at the keyboard. (I am not, by the way, blaming Him for all my bad ideas---nor am I "coming out" as a speaker of "ex cathedra" truth.)

To reiterate, this is a much better situation than God not speaking to me at all---what some call "writer's block."

I would still prefer the lottery-style of provision than the hand-to-mouth method God has used on me for 11½ years. I still keep saying, "OK, I'll do this until you stop giving me little ideas." And He keeps that one autumn leaf hanging precariously on the tree, like in O. Henry's story "The Last Leaf." And I sit down at the keyboard again and say, "So what are we writing today?"

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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