Last week, I took time away from my writing of I Shall Not Die. The break was two-fold. One, I wanted to test myself to see if the fatigue that I had been suffering with while writing the book would continue if I focused on writing some other project. And two, I needed to be rejuvenated and replenished. Writing this book is indeed physically and mentally draining. It even depletes me spiritually. Not in a bad way, necessarily, but after a few days of pouring into I Shall Not Die, I'm left feeling like a car that has run out of gas. I feel as though I need a refilling of God's power so that I can have the strength to go a few miles farther.
Last week proved to me that this lethargy that I've been experiencing is definitely specific to this project. My body returned to its normal energetic self during those "off" days, and there was no bizarre fatigue. None. Nada. This short sebatical of mine gave a definitive answer to a question that had plagued me since I embarked on this nonfiction mission. Not that I really had any real doubts that my writing of the I Shall Not Die book and my physical drainage were connected. But I needed to know beyond any shadow of doubt. And now I do. I will begin writing again later this evening...and I already know what's going to happen. But I'm ready! :-)
As far as my need for a refill of spiritual gas goes, God provided that as well. Dr. Toni Alvarado (see photo below taken with me in 2008), the co-pastor and first lady of Total Grace Christian Center, poured into me and hundreds of other worship attendees during the dynamic message that she preached on yesterday (Sunday) morning. Wow! God really knows how to provide what we need when we need it. Pastor Toni took her scripture text from Joshua 4:1-9 and entitled her message, "What Do These Stones Mean To You?" which was taken from verse 6. She walked us through the scripture and expounded on how things in life get most difficult just when God is getting ready to do something great. The enemy, she explained, knows that if he can get us to give up at the threshold of our blessing, we will never receive what God has for us, and we will never know what God was going to do through us had we finished the task. It was noted in this particular scripture text that God didn't part the river of Jordan for the people until they first took the initiative to step out on faith. Not until they (Joshua and his followers)physically made steps toward the water did He (God) divide it and allow them to walk on dry ground.
Her message was just confirmation for me. I know that God is going to bless this written work called I Shall Not Die. He has promised that it will be a blessing not only to me, but even more so to those who it will ministry to, and the enemy desires for me to become fearful, doubtful, and yes, even tired and depleted. Anything that might bring on discouragement or despondence, the enemy has been trying to feed it to me. So what does this stone mean to me? I'm turning it into a stepping stone. And every time I walk past it or step over it, I'm going to see it as the obstacle that it is, and continue to praise God for giving me the victory to LIVE beyond it and finish the task that has been set before me.
What kind of obstacles are currently in your way? What does that stone mean to you?