I’ve always been a do-it-yourself kind of gal. I had a subconscious belief that trying harder, doing my best, and digging deep was a recipe for curing all ills. It took many slow years to learn that my own efforts can’t fix everything, no matter what that “everything” is.
Somehow, despite having learned this, I started writing my latest book on the same track. I had realized a disconnect between my faith and my attitude, and I didn’t like it. I wanted to discover its roots and start acting like I believed the things I say I do.
I thought the book would be about me and my journey—my struggles. Probably, somewhere deep down, I thought it would include how cleverly I overcame them.
I expected to dig into myself and find something to fix myself, but it doesn’t work that way. Thankfully, God directed my words in spite of my expectations. The chapters started coming out with a whole lot of Scripture and very little “me.”
God realized, even if I didn’t, that when a firm faith is what you’re after, digging into your own heart won’t get you there, but digging into Scripture will. And here’s the weird thing: the Scripture you’re digging into takes up a shovel of its own.
I didn’t need to dig into myself first. I needed to dig into Scripture first so it would dig into me.
And it turned up a rocky field—boulders of unbelief, roots of dissatisfaction, stumps of distraction, weeds of worry. Slowly but surely, biblical truths tore out the stubborn places in my soul. It was painful, but oh so worth it!
Bible stories and passages I’d heard hundreds of times came alive with new meaning. Truths I’d been treating as platitudes became real to me. Seeds planted finally began to find the conditions they needed to grow in my heart.
It was a brutal plowing that removed many of my obstacles to faith and exposed much of the spiritual illness that was hidden beneath the surface… “not that I have already attained this or am already perfect,” as Paul would say, “but I press on” (Philippians 3:12). The field of my heart will always have more boulders and pebbles and sticks that need rooting out, but I’m not trying to dig them out on my own anymore.
I’m digging into the Word of God and allowing it to do its work, for “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
About halfway through writing the book, the Lord prompted the thought that, though discussing spiritual illness is beneficial, discussing spiritual health is foundational. The first two-thirds of the book discusses various obstacles to faith and biblical study to combat them, and the rest is about practices to build spiritual health—to boost your spiritual immunity, so to speak, so those obstacles don’t overcome your faith when you’re walking in the valley.
Writing that second section was like the awakening of spring in my heart—life began appearing in places that seemed dead.
Dwelling on thankfulness and hope and satisfaction was a balm to a battered soul. And at the end came a surprise—God pressed for my delight. As I say in the book, “I wasn’t expecting it. I expected devotion and perseverance and a wealth of other respectable virtues, but delight didn’t even cross my mind.”
But delight made me stop. It made me breathe. It made me engage and learn to find joy in the minute-by-minute existence binding us to this mortal coil. It reminded me that the commonness can reveal beauty if we allow it, if we live in the moment, and if we stop trying to force our own agenda into every second of every day. And it also reminded me that God is anything but common.
The digging into Scripture brought me through a painful uprooting of wrong thinking, but it’s end was a delight I never expected!
My question for you is this: where are you digging for hope, fulfillment, answers, peace, rest, delight, and all the fruits of the Spirit? If you’re digging into your own soul, shift gears, and begin to dig into the Word of God, which “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Don’t just skim it. Let it wash over you. Swim in it. Ask yourself what its truth should look like in your life.
I know what it’s doing in mine. To quote my chapter on “Belief:”
When tempted to seek fulfillment elsewhere, I now seem to hear the still, small voice of God ask, “Do you believe Me when I say that only I will satisfy?”
When I am anxious over something, I hear Him say, “Do you believe Me when I say I will work all your circumstances for good?”
When I feel inadequate, His assurance prompts, “Do you believe Me when I say My strength is made perfect in your weakness?”
And fortified with the Word, more and more frequently, I am able to answer, “Yes,” and rest in Him.
That’s what the writing of this book did for me. My prayer is that the reading of it will do the same for others.
C.E. White is an author, artist, and entrepreneur living in the mountains of North Georgia. Her works are fueled by a lifetime love of both reading and Jesus, and she longs to inspire others with words of hope and imagination. When she’s not penning her next book, you can find her creating collage art, renovating her house, conquering mounds of paperwork, or RVing with her husband and two cats.
Author Website: www.cewhitebooks.com
Artist Website: https://www.cewhiteart.com/
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
The world is full of things that undermine our faith. Too often, we push and scramble through life, allowing our feelings to control our decisions, attempting to accomplish things in our own strength, and trusting in worldly wisdom rather than God. This leaves us frazzled, overwhelmed, and grumbling through every difficulty like the Israelites did in the desert.
But we don’t have to live that way! The peace God promises is real and available to every believer.
This book tackles many of the obstacles we let come between us and God—things like fear, failure, insufficiency, and expectations. The biblical examples and truths explored will bolster your faith, calm your spirit, renew your strength, and shift your focus from the earthly to the eternal, freeing you to embrace God’s rest in all circumstances.