“A Fire In My Bones”


The figure of Jeremiah on the Sistine Chapel c...

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One of my favorite people in the Bible is Jeremiah. This guy was called by God as a young man to preach, promised God would be with him, would give him the words to speak. All he had to do was be a mouthpiece. If you know Jeremiah’s story you know things didn’t work out so easily for him. Everywhere he went he was rejected. He preached for years with not a single convert. He was thrown out of towns, laughed at, mocked, riduculed, tormented. The poor guy even admitted he was a household joke.

And finally, he was discouraged . . . in a bad way.

So discouraged, in fact, that he accused God of tricking him, of forcing him into preaching. He said, “You are stonger than I am and overpowered me.” Jeremiah even contemplated giving up, handing in his name badge and giving God his one-minute notice. His desire was to never speak of God again, to never even speak His name. It had only brought him trouble.

But he couldn’t. No matter how badly he wanted to run from the mockery and rejection he simply couldn’t. In his own words:

But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! (Jer. 20:9, NLT)

I talk to a lot of discouraged writers and I ask them all the same question: Why do you write?

Many of them give me the same answer: Because I can’t NOT write. They’ve tried. Rejection has come in waves, knocking them down each time they try to get their footing. They’ve written stories, submitted them everywhere imaginable, only to face more rejection and discouragement. They’ve promised themselves they would write no more, turn in their keyboard, burn their tablets, get rid of every pen in their home.

But they couldn’t. Why?

Because the story in them was put there by God. The desire to write is His desire for them. He kindled that fire in their bones and though it may flicker and fade it never burns out.

If you’re one of those writers, here’s my advice. Keep writing. You were called to write. But understand, you may not be called to be published or read in the way you think. God may have other plans for you. Be open to that. And really, if your writing never makes it past your family and friends but you are a blessing to them, isn’t that enough? Aren’t you still being used by God to minister through writing?

Ask yourself this: If I work for a year on a story that only one person reads but it changes that one person’s life, was it worth it? Think carefully about your answer, it reveals everything about your motivation.

 

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on October 5, 2011, in Christian Living, Writing Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You write because you have to. You can’t not write.

    By the way, congratulations on the INSPY nomination for “Darkness Follows!”

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  2. I was that person. I’ve thrown away a typewriter, a VIC 20 (my word processor way back in 1983), a Commodore 64 (replaced the VIC20) and so on. Each time, my wife begged me to start writing again. She couldn’t take the person I was when I was not writing. But, perseverance paid off. It took me 30 years but I am now a published author. Was it worth it? We’ll see!

    Congratulations on the nomination!

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    • That’s powerful stuff, Bruce! Thanks for sharing that. Ah, the old Commodore 64s. I remember one time when I was especially discouraged about the rejections piling up my wife told me to “live like it’s already happened.” Her faith carried me.

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  3. Thanks, Mike. Yes, you have described my story most of this year. Thank you for the encouraging words. I needed to read them. I love the NLT, BTW.

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  4. Shawna Franklin

    Very encouraging blog. I have been working on writing for children for years. I have completed a few courses and really enjoy it and plan to do more in the future. I believe there is a future in it and that God has something planned for me and my family, but now with baby #4 on the way I definitely feel like I need to “wait.” Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to rush the Lord and His plans for me. I need to wait on His timing, and that is tough to do! Thanks for the reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness!

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  5. Good thoughts, Mike. And you’re right.

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  6. Melinda Williams

    When we were children, my sister and I would lie in bed at night and come up with stories until we fell asleep. I read anything I could get my hands on, and still do – with a little more discretion than I did when I was younger. For years I wrote for fun on fanfiction sites, until the Lord got a hold of me and I realized I was using a passion He gave me in one of the worst ways possible. All those stories have since been taken down and deleted. After I got saved, I poured all my love of writing into something I wanted to bring glory to God. Last year my first book was published and somewhere between the editing process and promotion hassles, I forgot why I wrote the book in the first place. Thank you so much for this, it reminded me of why I write! And I’ll give God the glory, no matter if His plan is for me to touch thousands or five people.

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