by Dale Harcombe
Waiting is not my strong point. Too often I find I want God to act and I want it when I want it. Maybe some of you can relate to that. Perhaps that is why Psalm 37 is one of my favourite psalms, especially the first few verses. They remind me of several things. First is that my delight should be in the Lord. When my delight is in God then God promises to give me the desires of my heart. This is not an all encompassing idea like granting every wish. It has more to do with the fact that if I delight in the Lord, my desires will be more likely to be in tune with God and so he can easily give me the desires of my heart, because they are in line with his own.
The next verse that speaks to me from this psalm is about committing my way to the Lord. That means not making up my own mind what I will do or not do, but checking in with God first and seeing what he wants for me to do. As a writer, it is imperative that I am constantly in touch with God, finding his will for me and for my writing.
Verse 7 of Psalm 37 tells me to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him - easier said than done sometimes. For some of us, resting does not come naturally. We're all about getting in and doing things. But since God tells me to rest in him, then I need to take notice. Similarly waiting for the Lord is not always easy. My timing is often not God's timing. This was never more evident than in my writing career.
When Chasing After the Wind, my first children's book, was published I thought it would be a natural progression from there to further books with the same publisher. It didn't work out that way. Although I have had seven children's books plus a book of poetry published, it hasn't been an easy road and the books have been with several different publishers.
Even so, I longed to have a novel for adults published. For a time it never looked like it was going to happen. At that stage I was trying to get it accepted by secular publishers because I wanted it to go into secular bookshops where it would be picked up and read by non Christians. I hoped it would challenge them to think more about God. The manuscript kept coming back to me. I put it aside and kept working on other writing, namely children's fiction and poetry. But I still wanted that manuscript to see the light of day and believed God did too.
Then God convinced me to submit it again to Ark House Press. God made it clear this was his time and way for it to be published. Streets on a Map was published in December 2010 and has received excellent reviews. You can find some of those reviews here.
Even when the book was almost at the stage of being published there were delays from the anticipated date. So it was back to waiting. By that time it was too close to Christmas so I didn't hold my book launch till mid February. Initially, trying to organise a venue and catering and all the details proved to be difficult. I was tempted to wonder if it was ever going to happen. But the Lord kept reassuring me from his word. He had a plan.
Of course, as always happens when I stop and listen to God instead of charging in trying to do it on my own, it all worked out beautifully. It was without doubt the best book launch I have ever had. Included in the launch were a couple of musical items by a singer. Unaccompanied except for a soft drum beat, she sang two of the songs Abby, the main character from Streets on a Map would have sung. Some photos from the launch are up on my website http://www.daleharcombe.com/ under News.
I came to see when left to God, His ways are perfect. When we wait on him and trust him to act and leave things in his more than capable hands, things work out in his time and way. What's more, they work out better than we could ever imagine. We can be sure of this because God's Word promises this. The steps of a man (or woman) are established by the Lord and he delights in his (or her way) Psalm 37:23. What a beautiful promise and assurance to cling to!