Labor of My Hands
by Guest Blogger Christine Lindsay http://www.christinelindsay.com
Psalm 127 says, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.
This psalm goes on to say, It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors: For He gives to his beloved even in his sleep.
Or it makes me stop—is the work that I produce on my laptop for 8 to 10 hours a day really His will? Or am I 'building a house' He does not want?
Writing is like breathing to me. I'm willing to put in the long, long hours, the months, the years to hone my craft. It's been 8 years of seriously pursuing a ministry/career in Christian fiction, with a great many sacrifices along the way.
In talking to other writers, this is the norm. It's common that once an author is published, the money they make is a pittance. There's certainly no job security. When one is published, the author is only as good as her last book. And the pressure to market herself and her book takes her away from the labor to produce another.
Yet, with all artists, the desire for wealth and fame is meaningless. It's the art that tugs on our hearts—the desire to use that art to glorify God. It's this that urges us to give and give and give to this labor.
I see this in my son---a musician. As his 'artsy' mother I understand his need to pursue a degree in music—not something sensible like a trade or getting a job in a bank. I relate to his overwhelming desire to honor the Lord with his art, and assist others in worshipping God.
In my work the desire is to help others 'see' God within the words and scenes I type on the page. I want them to understand something of what I glean from the Word of God. What He has taught me through my life’s tumultuous journeys to help others trust in Him.
But we live in a world where food must be put on the table, the roof over our heads must be financed. The gas bill must be paid. And I look at this verse in Psalms and I ask myself like I do every day---Lord, am I doing what you want me to do with the labor of my hands?
I’m at a stage in my life where I must make a choice soon. I’ve been given a hiatus from a normal day job, but that will end in a matter of weeks. Instead of taking a course to help me get a better paying job, I’ve felt a tremendous pressure to finish my third fictional novel, to work hard to 'send it out there' with the hope that....this one will sell.
Is this pressure from God? Or my vain imagination? After all, I'm a writer, my imagination works overtime.
Am I being irresponsible or following the leading of the Spirit to take a huge leap?
I don't know for sure. All I know is that we only live this life on earth once. I’d rather give myself this chance, and if I fail, and must take whatever day job I can find to make financial ends meet, then I will know I tried my best to reach my dream. And every day, the Lord keeps nudging me forward. Don't stop, keep going. I'll provide.
Did he give me this dream in the first place? I believe He did.
All the same, we writers crave the confidence in our spirits that we are doing exactly as He wants us to do.
Then I read the verse in Psalms again. For He gives to his beloved even in his sleep....
He gives to me even while I sleep. While I sleep He works on my behalf. Why do I fret?
Hi Everyone, Dina here. Christine is my amazing critique partner. I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from her. She should be stopping by today, so please leave your questions and comments. What sort of "houses" are you building in your life? Have you learned to rest in the Lord?