Picture a beautiful Sunday morning in Montana. I was in pajamas, steaming coffee in hand, sitting with knees tucked close to me on the front step.
Hear the birds. Smell the fresh air.
And I was praying long and slow. No hurry to do chores. Just enjoying the Lord and talking to him about random everything, because that’s how a girl’s brain works. (And can we just stop to appreciate that God can track with a woman’s brain? I know. Incredible.)
Most on my mind was writing. Four years into my writing and with two books published this spring, I was taking time to think about my future writing life. Setting down my coffee, I opened up both of my hands in front of me.
“What next, Lord?” I asked.
It wasn’t a desperate question. Hands open, I pictured myself as a servant.
“What would you like to do next with my writing?” I asked again. The Lord is kind and good, and I began an open-hearted waiting for what he has next for me.
Thinking back, I remembered the joy I had when I wrote Bible study guides that went with our sermon series at church. There hasn’t been time to help with those in the last few years.
“Lord, I really miss writing those Bible studies,” I told him. It was just a statement.
Finishing my prayer time and the dregs of my coffee, I stood up and stretched. My coffee cup went in the sink, and I clicked open my computer to check email for the day.
Can you believe that the first email I saw was from the man at church who is in charge of the Bible study guides that go with the sermons? “Looking for help on the study guide for the fall,” said the email. I hadn’t been able to help with these for so long, that I was surprised to even hear from him.
And would you believe that the study was going to be over the book of Mark, which I had just finished studying personally during the spring?
For the rest of the morning, I kept breaking out in a smile. God had heard my prayer and had given me my next writing assignment.
So personal. God is so personal with us.
Yesterday I put the finishing touches on the Bible study of Mark. It has been the sweetest time working on this. I found myself in tears at the table on multiple occasions, seeing even more deeply who Jesus is and how much he loves us.
Now I want you to think about what Jesus tells his disciples, about a slave who comes in from working:
Does he [the master] thank that slave because he did what was commanded? In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.’ (Luke 17:9-10 HCSB)
We are slaves in the best of Kingdoms, and it can ease our anxiety and longings about the future, if we maintain a mindset of doing God’s bidding instead of laboring frantically to achieve our own dreams and force our own futures.
“What next, Lord?” can be the question that opens your life to the intimate plan God has for your coming days. If you ask the question, he will answer.
And the answer will be good.