Friday, July 10, 2015

Uncertainty by Jim Hart

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. Situations arise and change - seemingly by the minute. Some directly affect us, others indirectly. Some, such as Family Christian Store’s filing for bankruptcy, have already begun to have an effect on the Christian publishing world. There’s some uncertainty associated with that. Couple that with the ever-shifting landscape of editors and publishers transitioning to new positions, and CBA publishers who are reducing or eliminating their fiction program, and we find still more uncertainty.

Two days ago we received the news that yet another large CBA publisher is closing down their fiction line. This is just one more venue that is not available for Christian fiction. It makes it tough on writers, agents, and also the readers. It pushes more and more great talent towards smaller independent publishers with a POD model, or to self-publishing.

In the face of some of this uncertainty I’ve been reminded how ‘certain’ and dependable Jesus is, in spite of all other uncertainty and concern about the future.

What can we be certain Jesus will do for us:

1)      Save us. I had to put that first. Not because I’m trying to make this super-spiritual, but to remind us that without Christ saving us, then we would not be writers, agents and editors in this field.
2)      Pour into us a message that someone needs to hear. We may jump to thinking this only applies to non-fiction, but we all know that a great fiction story can inspire and encourage. And we can’t minimize the place of fiction that may serve just to entertain the reader.  We serve, and worship, a creative God. I think it pleases Him when we use our creative talents in ways that honor Him and point to His Kingdom.
3)      We can be certain that He has given us the ability to be writers.
4)      We can be certain that He will guide us to the resources that are needed to become a better writer – classes, conferences, critique groups, and contests.
5)      We can be certain that He will guide us in growing an author platform. (Oh yes – I did say that.)
6)      We can be certain of His Word and His promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a foundational promise: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
7)      And finally, we can be certain that if He has poured into you the message of your books, then He is certainly able to get that message into the hands and hearts of people who need to be strengthened and blessed by that message!

Scripture describes the Lord as our Rock - a firm and certain foundation for our life. In the face of any and all uncertainty, including the publishing industry, we can stand secure on our Rock.


Joy Avery Melville said...

Thank, Jim!
Blessings as you work for so very many of us!

Linda Glaz said...

It is sad that they closed their fiction line, and now their authors will slide over to some of the remaining slots at other lines. Sad time for authors, but God IS still in control.

Joyce Hart said...

Excellent post, Jim. So very true. We have to depend on the Lord for our incomes, direction and guidance. He never fails.

Diana Flegal said...

Great post Jim. I just read in The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, that God wants us in a daily dependence. This type of uncertainty keeps me there. :-)

C. Kevin Thompson said...

Great post, Jim. As this world gets darker, lights that shine bright will be the easiest to see. Problem is, in a darker, "antichrist-ian" world that grows darker by the day, the avenues by which our light shines as writers will probably need to be something providentially produced as opposed to humanly derived in order to have a heavenly impact. That can come in any genre or type of writing.

Thanks for the reboot.

Susan Marlene Kinney said...

I so agree with your post! We must write and keep on writing until He opens the doors, while always--each and every day trusting in Him. Remembering how difficult life and circumstances were for those in the Bible encourages me to press on. When God shines His favor and opens the doors for our writings...well it is just best to walk with Him and not run ahead or lag behind. How we need to pray for publishers, editors, and agents and writers so that we would represent Him well. Thank you for sharing this!