Read an Excerpt
By Deborah Raney
For many years, I misinterpreted this wonderful verse of the Psalms. I took it to mean that if only I could figure out how to receive my greatest joy through my relationship with Jesus Christ, that would be the ticket to me getting everything my heart desired. I thought all I had to do was get happy about Jesus and it would be like having a magic genie to grant all my wishes.
As I've grown in the Lord, and as I've studied his Word, I've come to realize that the true blessing of delighting ourselves in the Lord comes when we willingly allow Him to place within our hearts the longings and desires that He chooses for us. When that happens, instead of wishing for things that bring only temporary pleasure, we suddenly begin to desire things that have eternal value. When we open our hearts to God, he begins to work within us, allowing us to hope for and pray for the very things that are His will for us.
Where my writing is concerned, my desires have not always been in line with God's will. There was a time when I wished for my writing to make me rich and famous, for it to make my life easier and more exciting. That hasn't happened. But as I've matured and learned to be less self-centered and more Christ-centered, God has given me far better things ... things I never imagined this writing journey might lead to. And certainly not things I ever thought I would actually wish for!
Instead of wealth, I've been given a richer understanding of God's word. Even as I study the Bible to find answers for my fictionalcharacters, I find wisdom for my own life. Instead of fame, God has blessed me through my publishing houses and writers groups with some of the dearest friends I've ever known. Instead of the easy life, I've gained a new appreciation for the difficulties and struggles of life. I've learned that God never wastes any experience in a writer's life! And instead of excitement, I have an incredible sense of peace as I've learned to rely on the Lord in every single aspect of my life.
I've learned that it never pays to compare myself to others who are selling more books, winning more awards or getting more attention from the media. They are each where God has placed them, for reasons that have nothing to do with me. I can't see the larger picture or understand why God works the way he does, but I am learning to trust His guiding hand one day at a time, as I embrace the things that are His desires for my life.