A Great Place to Be
by Dan Walsh
I feel weak sometimes. No, I feel weak a lot.
I wasn’t always like this. For many years, I felt strong and confident. As it turns out, it was an illusion. I was like the Emperor in that Hans Christian Anderson story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” He isn’t wearing anything but, blinded by pride, he doesn’t see it.
Now I do see it, and it’s made me aware of my weakness on a regular basis.
Here’s an example: I’m beginning to write my 10th novel this week. Seven of the other nine are already published by major publishers (Revell and Guideposts). Novels eight and nine are in the pipeline, due out in 2013. I’ve already won three Carol awards (book-of-the-year). All of my novels have received rave reviews in magazines, blogs and on Amazon. I’ve been asked to co-author a fiction series by a mega bestselling author (Gary Smalley). My most recent novel has been optioned by a movie producer who has made several Hallmark films.
You’d think I’d feel confident inside as I set out to write a novel #10. But I don’t. I feel weak. I have doubts about whether I can do it again. What if I can’t? It’s my livelihood now. People are depending on me. What if the well runs dry? What will I do then?
Where does such weakness come from? Was something missing from my childhood? Have I experienced some traumatic things as an adult that have eroded my self-confidence? The answer to both of these questions is “yes.” But that’s not why I feel weak.
The real reason I feel weak, I believe, is a kindness from God. It’s not something I should dread but something I should celebrate. God, in His mercy, has lifted the veil of false confidence and self-sufficiency to help me see my true condition before Him.
By design, I was made (you were made) to walk in a dependent relationship with God. It was Adam’s fall that created the illusion that we can make a success of things on our own. The truth is, God created us for intimate fellowship with Him. This need we have for Him is built-in, intended to continually draw us toward Him.
We are hard-wired for dependence. And that is why we feel weak, when we feel weak. The good news is, because of Christ, the strength we lack is continuously available and in abundant supply. But we won’t benefit from this if we continue to walk in the illusion of strength (or should I say delusion of strength). We must learn the secret Paul learned, learn to become content with this feeling. In fact, woe to us if we ever lose the sense of weakness, because it’s the very thing that draws us near to God.
Here are two scriptures that quickly come to mind:
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:8-10, NLT)
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:11-13, NLT)
How about you? Feeling weak and overwhelmed lately? Where does your heart go when you feel this way? May I suggest you go where Paul suggests? I’ve tried to make this my habit now, and it’s made a HUGE difference in my life.
Lord, thank you for creating us this way, as dependent needy creatures. Help us not resent it but see it from Your perspective…as the very thing that draws us closer to You. Thank you for every situation–including the difficult people and circumstances–that make us more aware of our need for You. Fill us with your love and peace, and Your strength. Strengthen our grip on Your Hand. Thank you for always being there, day or night, no matter what. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Meet the Author:
I was born in Philadelphia in 1957 (guys don’t care if you know their age) to a mostly blue-collar, hard-working Irish family. My Dad was the first person on either side of the family to earn a college degree. It took him nine years, working during the day, going to college at night, using the GI Bill from his war days in Korea. In the mid-sixties, General Electric hired him as an engineer for the Apollo space program. We packed up and moved to Florida, which is really where I grew up.
I spent my childhood years playing basketball and surfing. We attended church every Sunday, but I never clearly understood the gospel until my senior year in high school. In that year, my entire family came to know the Lord. In the spring of that same year, I met the woman who would become the love of my life, Cindi. We dated for a brief period, but I knew my search was over. I asked her to marry me and, to my great surprise, she said yes. We were married near the end of 1976.
During a retreat a year later, I experienced a call to pastoral ministry. I began studying and preparing for the next several years. In 1985, I was ordained as a pastor and served in the same church for 25 years, until I retired from ministry in August 2010. In 1984, our daughter Rebekah was born. Six years later, our son Isaac. Both are now grown and married (we already have our first grandson, little Caden). I’ll always be their Dad, but now we’re also good friends.
And for the last several years (and hopefully many more to come) I get to do something else I love to do…write books. I began writing fulltime in 2010. I have five novels out with Revell and a 6th will release in September.
Revell has signed me to write 2 books a year for them through 2013, including a 4-book fiction series with bestselling author and relationship expert, Dr. Gary Smalley.
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