The Pressure Is Off

Last week, I wrote about the pressure on writers to write well and compelling enough to gain and keep readers. Today, I promise to take some pressure off.

For Christian writers only, if you feel the pressure to affect a reader’s life rests entirely on your own ability to write well, here are some red-letter words direct from the Creator God.

From the Old Testament book of Job, chapter 38, verses 1-30 (NIV). Knowing exactly what goes before, beside, below, behind, and above you, this passage should take care of any pressure you feel.

Spoiler alert: You have help.

1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels
 shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?” 

16 Responses to The Pressure Is Off

  1. Virginia Graham August 5, 2021 at 5:17 am #

    May His will be done in our tiny, insignificant (but blessed) life!

    • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser August 5, 2021 at 6:46 am #

      Virginia, may I disagree with you on the subject of an insignificant life?

      This is for you, written in hope that you’ll like it (and Dan, I ask you pardon for spamming up the joint!).

      Known ‘fore you danced in mother’s womb,
      known when the world was new;
      the journey to the Empty Tomb
      was taken just for you.
      He stores up every tear you weep,
      and do you wonder why?
      You’re His precious (sometimes wayward!) sheep,
      the apple of His eye,
      and the stars in their bright courses
      scattered through bright living space
      cannot match you in importance,
      for in your heart reflects the Face
      that shines for you in love and pride
      that He will never set aside.

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser August 5, 2021 at 5:48 am #

    The words a-borning in my heart
    receive all that I have to give
    that they may step out, play their part
    and in bright honour live
    head- high ‘mongst literary throng,
    a raising of the bar,
    but this honest conceit is wrong,
    for I know they truly are
    a message in a bottle cast
    with heartfelt wish and prayer
    upon Gold’s roiling sea so vast
    to guide in gentle care
    that they be found upon some coast
    by the hands that need them most.

  3. Dave August 5, 2021 at 5:54 am #

    Whew!

  4. Jeannie Delahunt August 5, 2021 at 6:19 am #

    Some of my most favorite verses. Thank you Dan for sharing. 🙂

  5. Susan Sage August 5, 2021 at 6:30 am #

    It is always good to remember who we are not. Thank you for helping us recall that it is not our responsibility to change a heart. It is not our job to fix everyone’s issues.
    We are part of God’s work and must be faithful to it.
    Thank you. Dan. God bless.

  6. Cathy August 5, 2021 at 7:58 am #

    Proper humility comes to mind, and it’s as important as proper confidence.

  7. Damon J. Gray August 5, 2021 at 8:25 am #

    This is one of my favorite verses in all scripture:

    Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

    It’s just SO in your face, and I laugh every time I read it. But I wouldn’t be laughing if God roared at me, “Brace yourself like a man, Damon, and I will question YOU!”

  8. Wendy August 5, 2021 at 10:41 am #

    “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. 3:20-21 (NKJV)

  9. Alison Martin August 5, 2021 at 3:04 pm #

    fresh mind write creative and unique lines

  10. Roberta Sarver August 5, 2021 at 4:47 pm #

    Although sarcasm can be off-putting to some people, I find there is a place for it occasionally. This is one of those places. God was being sarcastic to Job, and Elijah was sarcastic to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. What a way to make a point!

  11. Jo Massaro August 5, 2021 at 6:21 pm #

    I just took a deep breath. Thank you, Dan, and especially to my Heavenly Father for His Word.

  12. Suzy Ryan August 5, 2021 at 9:21 pm #

    Amen!

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  15. Bethie Peltola September 1, 2021 at 6:47 am #

    It’s wonderful being a child of God – we do all we can to the glory of His name & then know that the writing to waiting, to see if our work is accepted by publishers, is ultimately in His hands; He establishes our work. ❤️

    Psalm 90:16-17, is a fav:
    “Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
    And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” (NKJV).

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