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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Iíll admit it now. I was anxious. Excited to be sure, but a little scared as well.
Itís hard to believe now, but that was just three weeks ago. The unbelievable events since the Friday before Memorial Day have confirmed to my heart how truly awe-inspiring it is to live life in Godís hands.
That Friday marked the two week anniversary of the day I had ordered my first set of books from my publisher. Any author who has ever put in that first order will know the agony of waiting to see the first few books actually in print. For a variety of reasons, I had more than my share of reasons to be especially anxious. Although, I had professed to be completely relaxed about the whole situation, the reality was, I was anything but relaxed.
Looking for guidance, I tried the ďdirect message from GodĒ trick that a friend of mine had told me about. You close your eyes, open the Bible, run your finger down the text, and what you come to is your answer. Let me just say, she didnít lie about the power of this exercise. When I opened my eyes, there could have been no clearer message:
O, you of little faith, why did you doubt?
He was right, of course. My faith in His plan had lagged and needed a recheck. So, I said, ďOkay, God. I get it. Youíre in charge. Show me where You want me to go.Ē It was the next morning that I found out my books had actually been at the shipping place since Thursday. However, with the holiday it would be another three days before I could get them. By then it didnít really matter, I was living on Godís time.
The day I actually picked my books up was the day that changed my life forever. Not for the books themselves as I had anticipated, but for what happened because of those books. That evening I went to see a friend of mine to show him that the book had, in fact, come in after more than a year of waiting. It was then that he handed me a little book called, The Prayer of Jabez.
I didnít exactly jump at the chance to read it. Instead my initial reply was, ďI really donít have time right now.Ē He pushed it to me and said, ďRead it.Ē I handed it back. ďI can get my own.Ē But he was adamant, ďTake mine. Read it.Ē I tried the ďI donít have timeĒ line again. However, thankfully, he wasnít taking no for an answer, so if for no other reason than to get out of the argument, I took the book.
Nothing could have prepared me for the tectonic-shift my life would experience because of that little book. I only got to the third or fourth page that first day, but I immediately started praying the prayer because it was so intriguing. Within two days, I had conversations with at least six people I had never met before about the book itself, and when I introduced myself as a Christian novelist, they wanted to know more about not just my Jabez experience but my writing as well.
That was amazing enough, but what I was to learn next would prove the real value of living life in Godís hands. As I had been interested in learning how to market my books on the Internet, I had purchased an Internet Marketing course at the beginning of May and was completely amazed at the quality of information presented in the material. Imagine my surprise when I attended a seminar I had signed up for before I had even received the course and who should be speaking but the person who had actually written the course.
Having seen his information up-close, I took advantage of signing up for his small in-depth seminar. That meeting dawned five days after I had started reading and incorporating Jabez into my life.
There is simply no way to go into every amazing experience from that day, but here is a brief overview of them. I got to meet and talk one-on-one with this marketing mastermind, and I even got to give him one of my books, which he was happy to get. I got to meet several other seminar attendees who were very enthusiastic about my books.
With every contact, I thanked God for the appointment and then asked for more territory. By the end of the day, I had not only made contact with the seminarís marketing team, but we had made an agreement for them to set up my website complete with the advanced tracking system that their company developed, not to mention an hour or more of one-on-one time with a top associate for brainstorming ideas for the site and the on-going dialogue Iíve had with them since.
Now in case you missed the timing of this, hereís a recap: I signed up for the initial seminar, having never even heard of this firm. I purchased their course and read it, not knowing I would be attending a seminar in which the founder of the company would be speaking. At that seminar I had a chance to meet him and sign up for a second more in-depth seminar, which was attended by only 25 people, thus providing ample one-on-one time. And by the time the sand was completely sifted from that day, they were setting up my website and helping me not just with design but with marketing as well. All in the span of one month!
Could I have done thisóany of this on my own? No. Too many people had too many decisions to make to get all of this to line up in the perfection that it did.
Thatís what living in Godís hands will do for you. No longer will you be banging your head against brick walls with no hope of ever breaking through them. You will be running through those brick walls as if they are made of air.
I thank God for this experience. I thank Him for literally thrusting Jabez into my hands and not taking no for an answer. I thank Him for every miracle thatís come out of reading that small but incredibly powerful book.
Most of all, I want you to hear my experience and try it for yourself. Iím here to tell you, all you have to do is ask. If you will take that step, there are no walls strong enough to hold you back if you truly decide to begin living in Godís hands.