July 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Replies

Dorothy Bentley

Last fall, I volunteered to be on a committee for a general market magazine. I did not pray about the decision, but when I was asked, I was instantly thrilled to be included in what I perceived to be an elite writing community of college professors and the like. I also thought if I was one of the team, my writing would be easily accepted for publication. I said yes.

The commitment began easily enough: a monthly meeting, a few opinions on artwork and layout, themes, and possible venues to sell, but it didn’t take long before the group’s expectations of my volunteer work grew exponentially. And to make matters worse, my submission was rejected.

Suddenly, I faced the truth. I hadn’t asked the Lord His opinion about this new involvement. Instead, I had rushed ahead, excited about a new opportunity for publication. What I had seen as an easy way to step up one more rung of my writing career ladder became a heavy burden, leaving no spare time to write.

Jesus says His burden is light. There was something wrong.

Gently the Lord prompted me to withdraw myself from the group, and once again pursue His direction for my writing.

It frightens me how easily I was drawn in. How could I have let my desire to achieve worldly success lead me away from God’s timing?

I continue to receive emails from this group. Each one is a reminder from the Lord; a reminder to pray before I accept any assignment, and to pray before I write anything. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

So the first submission reply had been negative, but not the second.

Amid a computer crash and needing to borrow my daughter’s laptop for daily survival, I submitted to a Christian publication. This was right, of the Lord. I prayed about it, and sensed His leading.

Yesterday I was overjoyed to receive a positive response. What a thrill! With this, there were hurdles, but not a negative gnawing inside like before.

It’s not about writing what I want and asking God to bless it, but asking, “What would you have me write, Lord?” and “Where should I submit, Lord?”

I think this has been a good learning experience for me. As a writer, I need to stay focused.

Father God,
Please forgive me for giving in to temptation. Please wash me clean and restore a right spirit within me. Remind me often to pray and stay in fellowship with You. Thank you for the privilege of being one of Your writers. May I bring glory to You and accomplish the work You have already chosen for me. Please remove any confusion about what I need to focus on, and help me to be balanced and organized in all areas of my life.
In Jesus’ precious Name I ask,


  1. Dorothy, I've learned, too, as soon as the burden gets heavy, to search for what's off track.

    As you say, a good lesson... and a good reminder for me today as I focus my thoughts on writing this morning.

    Thanks for the timely message and for sharing so openly.

  2. Anonymous9:24 am GMT-7

    Thanks for your comment. Blessings to you today as you write for Him!

  3. Excellent post, excellent thoughts. Thank you.

  4. Thank you.
    Lovely quilt, by the way!


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