Monday, July 6, 2020

What's a Weary Writer to Do? by Emily Conrad

person with book open over face


In myself and in many of my friends--both writers and not--I see widespread weariness like I've never seen before.

As Christian writers, many of us feel a certain sense of responsibility. When we see the weariness around us, we want to offer words to help.

Though our hope remains the same--Jesus!--expressing that hope in meaningful ways when we're weary ourselves becomes a challenge, doesn't it?

It certainly does for me. So, what's a weary writer to do?
In the book of Mark, during an intense time of ministry, Jesus issues an invitation to His disciples that I would sure like to hear from Him myself these days:

“Come with me privately to an isolated place and rest a while.” (from Mark 6:31, NET)

Did someone say vacation? That's exactly what we need!

Or is it?

Instead of a vacation, the disciples and Jesus arrived in that isolated place to find that the crowd had actually beat them there. They had more work to do, ministering to the people.

After a while, the disciples asked Jesus to disband the crowd so the people could go get food. I have to imagine they felt their weariness compound when Jesus answered their request with another assignment:

"You give them something to eat." (from Mark 6:37)

They responded with an estimate--it'd take about 200 days' wages to feed this many people. Is that really what Jesus wanted them to do? To give that much? To keep serving so long? Hadn't He invited them here for rest?

(Yes, I'm reading into the text. Look at it yourself and see what you think!)

Boy, have I been there.

I've looked at the ministry Jesus has given me, and I have an idea of what I must do, but...how, Lord? Maybe I don't have that much to give, and how long do I have to keep plodding along, anyway? What about the rest You promised, Lord?
person sleeping on couch

If you haven't recognized it already, the story I'm paraphrasing from Mark is the feeding of the five thousand. You are probably familiar with how it ends. Jesus doesn't have the disciples spend all that money to feed the crowd.

Instead, He uses what resources they have on hand.

He multiplies that meager offering as only God can.

Those weary disciples did not get a vacation, but Jesus did invite them to rest, and I believe that this account shows us the most important way any of us can rest: by trusting wholly in God's ability to provide.

It is possible that, in some ways, we'll have other kinds of rest. We might actually fit in a vacation.

But we're also called to be a light in a dark world, so in other ways, our ministries continue to follow us. We are called to continue serving. Words of hope and light and love are so important right now.

Even as I type that, I feel weary. I'm tired. I'm not sure I have those words right now.

But that's the point.
woman looking over shoulder

My weariness reminds me of something that's always been true: words of truth and encouragement have never been mine.

Any good thing I've ever written—along with all other good gifts I've received—have come from Jesus.

Even now, when we're stressed and weary, when our screens are blank, and we're out of good ideas, we can rest in God's unfailing love and power.

We must rest in Him. That's the only thing for a weary (or even a strong!) writer to do.

May our weariness remind us again of the importance of staying close to Him, listening to His invitations and obeying His instructions.

When we are weak, He is strong.

When we see no way, He provides.

When we need rest, He refreshes us in ways only He can.

My weariness reminds me of something that's always been true: words of truth and #encouragement have never been mine. via @emilyrconrad #seriouslywrite #faithwriter #amwriting
Even now, when we're stressed and weary, when our screens are blank, and we're out of good ideas, we can rest in God's unfailing love and power. via @emilyrconrad #seriouslywrite #faithwriter #amwriting
We must rest in Jesus. That's the only thing for a weary (or even a strong!) #writer to do. via @emilyrconrad #seriouslywrite #faithwriter #amwriting



_______________________

Emily Conrad headshotEmily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and an energetic coonhound rescue. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her novel Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.

www.emilyconradauthor.com
Facebook.com/emilyconradauthor
Instagram.com/emilyrconrad
Twitter.com/emilyrconrad

https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Emily-Conrad-ebook/dp/B0792HGXQN/JUSTICE

The love of a lifetime, a quest for justice, and redemption that can only be found by faith.

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it.

Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake.

If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

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Photo Credits
Woman looking over shoulder photo by Jake Lorefice on Unsplash
Person on couch photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash
Woman holding face photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash
Person with book on face photo by Tonny Tran on Unsplash

12 comments:

  1. Powerful reminders, Emily. Thank you!
    I have to remind myself often of the verse that says when we are weak, He is strong - - I cling to that.
    Blessings as you write for Him, Patti Jo

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    1. That's a wonderful verse to have memorized! Thanks for stopping by today, Patti Jo!

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  2. Boy, did I need this today! Thanks, Emily!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear it came at a good time! <3

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  3. This!! "Even now, when we're stressed and weary, when our screens are blank, and we're out of good ideas, we can rest in God's unfailing love and power." Reads like a breath of fresh air, wrote writer with solid white screen LOL! Thanks for uplifting post, Emily!

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    1. Ha! Trust me, Mary, I've been challenged by blank screens lately, too! So glad the post was helpful!

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  4. This reminds me of our family "vacation" last summer. Ten whole days that we were supposed to rest and recharge and not talk about our ministry. But halfway into our drive across the country we got a call from CPS asking if we could take another foster baby when we got back. A couple days later, we got a call from one of our students who was having a crisis. So we ended up spending our whole vacation stressing and planning and making calls to prepare for a new baby, and spending hours on the phone over several days helping our student cope with a difficult situation. I was tempted to believe these things "ruined" our vacation. Like you said in your post, "What about the rest You promised, Lord?" But, also like you said, we must rest in Him. And we can do that anywhere. In any circumstances. Even on vacation :)

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    1. Oh, wow, I'd struggle with that, too. I can even think of some circumstances from my last big vacation that I felt put a damper on it, too. But, God is good. Thanks for joining the conversation, Katie!

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