When Hardship is Meant For My Deliverance.

Though he (God) slay me…this will turn out for my deliverance. Job 13:15

I had my hopes dashed this week. At the end of 2019, I’d entered a significant and highly competitive writing contest. It required I complete a form and send it along with a few copies of my precious book and a contest fee to the required recipient. Having done all that, I prayed the package would result in good outcome and waited. 

I prayed often and waited more.

Results were announced Tuesday of this week.

My book was not selected among a long list of nominees in the same genre. 

Sigh. 

I experienced a mix of anger, disappointment and shock because, in the opinion of a select few judges, what I’d offered as my very best wasn’t good enough. 

If you’ve ever placed something or someone of great value into the care of another and it’s rejected on any level, you can relate.

The following day, I’d intended to polish a scene in my current manuscript and make further advances toward the happily ever after ending, but, understandably, found myself in somewhat of a mental fog. Unrecoverably distracted.

In need of catharsis, I cried out to the Lord. My posture at this point, though, was quite bowed in anger until God whispered a familiar verse over my scorched soul…

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. Job 13:15a

But there’s more.

Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance. (vs 16a)

Uh, deliverance? From….?

Pride.

Well, maybe.

No, definitely.

Pride tops the list of things the Lord hates or finds detestable.

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him; haughty eyes…Proverbs 6:16-17a

Could it be the Lord identified haughtiness in my heart over this whole contest deal? And could it be that he knew the precise set of circumstances that would deliver me from it?

Perhaps my heart motivation wasn’t all together upright in wanting my writing labors to be recognized in the eyes of my peers, particularly when his unchanging Word assures me I’m deeply and fully loved by him. (Psalm 139:14)

For you, God may have put his finger on a different area of struggle and, in his fierce jealousy, will slay you in exchange for sweet freedom to live in obedience to him.

Hardship serves a purpose. He sees the danger my oft divided heart is in and desires to deliver me from it. 

Lasting fulfillment isn’t found in temporal treasures. Rather, rich and eternal rewards are gained by belonging to him.

On what are you setting your hope? Might it be something from which you need deliverance?

Mary

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✏️ Two of my 2019 inspirational articles that were published in Refresh, Online Bible Study Magazine, are featured in this 40 short Bible studies compilation, The Power to Make a Difference Available on Amazon.

 

4 Comments

  1. Margaret Eomurian says:

    Mary,

    Everyone struggles with pride at some level in their lives. Take heart in knowing, though, that your writing labors are definitely recognized in His eyes- the eyes that really matter. He has a crown waiting to give you when you meet Him face to face. Take comfort in knowing how very, very much He loves you and wants to sanctify you from anything that would keep you from being totally devoted to Him.
    Don’t stop writing!!!
    Love, Margaret

    • Mary Felkins says:

      So good to be reminded of God’s fiercely jealous love in allowing hardship, his faithful promise to bring deliverance where it’s needed, pride or otherwise. I do forget too easily who my real audience is.

      If only for you, I will, indeed, keep writing! 🙂

  2. Thank you for this, Mary. I remember losing a similar contest a few years ago and struggling with “all the feels.” Praise God we can trust Him to work it out for His glory. I’m with you!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      It hurts, doesn’t it? But I love that God knows how and when and why to refine those places that don’t reflect him well to the world. Thanks for stopping by, Carole!

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