Anyone who has worked hard and long on writing a novel can relate to those words. They are true for all of us and I appreciated the reminder that struggle doesn’t mean something is wrong or broken or out of sync with the writer or the work. It’s just the reality that the process isn’t easy.
And such is life, even a life lived in and through and with Christ. It’s just not easy because we live in a world ruled by forces that are continually at work to cause chaos and disease and pain. We’re in the midst of it, trying to cope with our own particular segment of it, trying to bring sense to it, both for our own peace of mind and that of others. That’s the challenge for writers of faith. Madeleine L’Engle has said, “The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness.” Notice the word effort – that implies struggle, the need for perseverance.
There are days when it can seem too hard, when the fatigue and frustration make us just want to lie down and give up. That’s the selfish streak in us, the streak that wants all the struggle to go away and life to be always sweet and full of sunshine. But Christ calls us to a different attitude. One that urges us to keep going, to do the work He has laid out for us. We are assured that there is purpose in all of this process, purpose that affects not only us, but those around us and those who will read our words. And, because of Christ, there is even joy in it all.
So when it gets hard, know that it’s normal. Know you’re not alone. We’re all with you. And so is the One who has given you this work to do. Be encouraged by David’s words to Solomon – “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, My God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until the all the work .... is finished” (1Chronicles 28:20).