Today I am honored to share the first of several guest posts on “The Whole Dang Thing.” I am out of town for a couple weeks and have asked some people to fill in. Shawn Smucker is covering Exodus 5 today. He has a great blog that you should totally check out. Enjoy!photo © 2010 marc falardeau | more info (via: Wylio)
Four years ago, I prayed a prayer something along the lines of:
God, if you want me to write, I need more time to do it. If my purpose on earth is to help people share their stories, then you’re going to have to get me out of this painting business. I can’t even imagine how that would happen, since I just signed a five-year agreement and bought a house we could never afford on a writer’s income.
But I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
Be careful about praying these kinds of dangerous prayers. Be careful about expressing your willingness to God. Because if what you are willing to do lines up with his will for your life, he will take you up on your offer.
Three years ago the economy tanked. I was on track to have my best year ever in my painting business – instead, it became my worst year. Two years ago another poor painting season began. Eighteen months ago my wife and I moved from northern Virginia to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, into my parents basement (with our four kids) because we needed to get a handle on the business debt we had incurred. I gave the painting business back to the original owner.
And I started writing full-time.
God took me from a 3000 square foot house in the wealthiest US county to a one-bedroom basement in Amish Country. In the eyes of the world, he took me from being a successful businessman to the lowliest of 33-year-old near-failures, living with his parents.
But the process of redemption is not always good to better to best. Sometimes it’s good to bad to very bad to better-than-you-ever-could-have-imagined.
“Why have you mistreated your own people like this, Lord? Why did you send me? Since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has been even more brutal to your people. You have not even begun to rescue them!”
Moses cannot believe what is happening – his actions are making things worse, something he didn’t even believe was possible. God used him, not to free Israel, but to make their conditions even less tolerable.
What’s the point, God?
What are you thinking, God?
Why would you do this, God?
Have you ever found yourself asking these questions? Are you asking them right now?
Shawn is a full-time writer, author, spouse and father to four beautiful children. He blogs daily about writing and postmodern faith over at http://shawnsmucker.com