Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Our Ways versus The Lord’s Ways by Cindy Williams

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11

"The End." We write those sweet words at the end of our story and breathe a sigh of relief… maybe post it online or celebrate with friends. We’ve plunged our characters into danger, immersed them in intrigue, struck them with love. They’ve been driven with purpose, fixed on their goals.

But what if you get to the end and realise that all their plans, all the things they were so concerned about, all the situations that drove them to achieve or fight or flee were not what the story was about at all!

This is the case with my new book, The Silk Merchant of Sychar. It is based on the John 4 account of the Samaritan woman at the well: a woman who had had five husbands and was currently with a man not her husband.

In the culture of her time marriage and children brought honor and security. Yet this woman had married and lost one man after another – five times! Imagine what thoughts occupied her mind. When she went out to the well, was she thinking of Jesus? Was she planning to do something great to please God? I don’t think so. She was coping with life in all its messiness.

Yet God used this woman as one of the first evangelists for Jesus. She was so excited after speaking to this Jewish man that had told her ‘everything she ever did’ that she rushed back to town to tell everyone. As a result, the town leaders invited Jesus to stay – a radical move as there was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans. He taught them for two days and many believed.

The Lord works the same way in our life. We may be trying to live a life pleasing to God or simply trying to get through the day. We may be doing the things we think He wants us to do and writing the words we feel called to write. Yet when the Author of Life planned and created us perhaps He wove in a few fine golden threads that He uses to His glory without us even trying, or maybe even knowing.

The Lord knows the plans he has for us and when we finally get to meet him we may be amazed at what seemingly insignificant events in our life bring a smile to his face and the words to his lips: "Well done good and faithful servant."

"...when the Author of Life planned and created us perhaps He wove in a few fine golden threads that He uses to His glory..." #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


Cindy Williams is an Australian author. For over twenty years she spoke and wrote about

healthy eating. Now she writes a more varied diet – of history, health, food and faraway places.

Exercise is her stress relief. Prayer is her sanity. Coffee and croissants are her downfall.

She writes stories of flawed women who battle injustice, and sometimes find romance.

She reviews for the Historical Novel Society, blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers, and teaches scripture in schools.

Her first novel, The Pounamu Prophecy, was short listed for the 2016 Caleb Prize.

One woman, five husbands and a weary rabbi at the well who
knows everything she ever did.

The day after they bury her husband Leah Marcellus loses her
baby. A widow and childless, what man will want her now?
Her father arranges a second marriage – a profitable business
arrangement – sealed on Mount Gerizim, the holy mountain
where every true follower of Yahweh worships. But Leah’s heart
belongs to another. Her passion only brings trouble - jealousy,
murder and lies.

Leah’s skill at the loom and the secrets of dye – the woad, the
murex and madder – brings her renown among the Roman
women of wealth.

Yet death and betrayal soon steal her security. Leah is determined
to protect her family ... at any cost.

From the olive groves of Samaria to the bloodied sand of a
Roman stadium to the exquisite silks brought from the East,
The Silk Merchant of Sychar weaves colour into the biblical
account of the woman at the well.