Hope Wonders When

I will readily admit – patience is not one of my virtues. Yet it seems God often requires me to learn more about patience in his school of waiting.as-we-wait

After two years living in limbo land, I am still waiting and wondering…when will the answers come?

How much longer do I need to wait? What is the deciding factor that is keeping me in this place of limbo?

Is there a deeper purpose than even the waiting – a reasoning God wants me to grasp, a circumstance someone else needs to piece together – something that affects both of us?

On a larger scale than just my small life, when will our communities learn that diversity is a good thing – that we can add to each other’s lives by embracing our differences as much as we do our commonalities? When?

A Facebook friend has watched her little boy endure countless surgeries. He’s lived in the hospital longer than he’s lived at home. When will their endless waiting end? When?

The 36-hour day team-tags caregivers to Alzheimer’s patients. The body refuses to die even as the brain deteriorates. When will endurance result in release? The only way to end the Alzheimer’s journey is to hold the hand of a loved one as she is ushered into eternity.

Writers wait to hear from publishers who hold their words hostage within committee meetings. The words scream to be heard and passed on. When will the answer come?

In their workbook, “Living Into the Answers,” authors Isenhower and Todd write, “If we leave ourselves open to God’s leading, even in the midst of asking the questions, often God sends us into areas we have not considered.”

New areas we have not previously considered…or possibly…God will lead us into a spiritual haven where we can reframe our questions.

How can we find hope while we wait? How can we best live in our waiting rooms without giving way to the frustrations of impatience?

When, God, when?

I wonder what it must have felt like in the 400-year silence between the Old and New Testaments. For centuries, one decade after another, the people waited for their Messiah.

Generations died out. Saints did not receive the promise, yet somehow hope lived on.

Grandfathers continued to share the stories of a miracle-working God. Mothers tucked their children into bed and whispered, “Maybe tomorrow Messiah will come.”

Yet the tomorrows stretched into the next year and the next.

Then – when he did come – he was so radical and so unlike the Messiah they expected – they didn’t recognize the wait was finally over.

Instead of rejoicing, they rejected him and killed him. Now, 2000 years later, they still wait because they haven’t recognized what happened.

As we seek the end of limbo land, maybe we are looking in the wrong location. Maybe the happy ending already happened in a manger in Bethlehem, a hillside sermon, an empty tomb outside the city of Jerusalem.

As I wait for my limbo land to end, I wonder…has it come and gone and passed me by? Did I somehow miss the answer and if so, how do I retrieve it?

Perhaps our When questions are wrapped in the discontent of our days. We can’t truly find the resolve because God’s When is not controlled by time.

Maybe the eternal one who longs for us to trust him plants the answers in the everyday-ness of life and then waits for us to locate him.

Yet as we wait, God sustains and holds us in the palm of his mighty hand.

Instead of waiting and longing and yearning for a change, perhaps we need to just accept today and find the joy in whatever positives surround us.

All the answers will someday be given by the One who is wisdom itself.

Maybe the restlessness of my spirit is merely my heart’s cry for a deeper intimacy with the One who provides the answer in Himself.

At least with Him beside me, I can imagine Hope.

©2016 RJ Thesman, Author of the Reverend G trilogy

3 Reasons to be a Freelancer

At a writers’ conference I recently attended, another writer asked, “Why should I be a freelancer? The return writing pencilon my investment is terrible. I work hard and make no money. Is it worth it?”

If you look just at the ROI, the answer is, “No. It isn’t worth the sacrifice, the time or the struggle.”

But for those of us who are Christian freelancers, three reasons keep us going.

Building credits. We continue to work as freelancers, because with every acceptance – we earn publishing credits. Those credits begin to pile up as we keep writing and as we never, never, never give up.

After a few years, we can honestly say we are published writers and give examples of publications that bought our words. When we become novelists, those credits prove that we can do the work and help us earn that signed contract.

Building relationships. One of the best returns on our investment is that we build relationships with editors, publishers, agents and other folks in the writing business. Over time, we know a cadre of people who ask for our work and want to work with us because we’ve proven ourselves to be credible and productive writers.

These are the people who will eventually endorse our books, write reviews and tell other publishers about our work. We build those relationships and then one day, we attend a writers’ conference and personally know the faculty. We feel as if we really belong to this select group of talented folks.

The Message. Working as a Christian freelancer does not bring in an enormous income. In fact, I know few freelancers who don’t have another source of income – either another job or another person in the home who has another job.

But it really is all about the message.

We write because we hope that somewhere out there, someone will read our words and be curious about this Jesus we love.

We hope that someday a person will send us an email with a thank you message, “I found my eternal home because of what you wrote.”

And we write because God has asked us to use the creative gifts we have to spread the message through cyberspace.

So that is why I am a Christian freelancer. Throughout the last forty-some years, I’ve built a lot of publishing credits and learned my craft. I’ve made some fantastic friends either online or in person. And I’ve shared the message of God’s love to people all over the world.

But for me, there’s one more reason to be a Christian freelancer…I just love to write.

©2013 RJ Thesman