Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Do Disciples and Writers Have In Common?




By: Tanya Eavenson
      
Let me give you a hint with the word, “disciple.” Jesus called twelve men to follow Him. It was a call for them to be trained and to learn. As writers, we are much like these men with different backgrounds, temperaments, occupations, special gifts and talents. With those talents, we are continually learning the craft and the trade of the business. We submit to publishers and agents, enter contests, and attend conferences. All of these are important but we miss something of greater importance if our only focus is that all illusive contract. The disciples also looked toward the future, not their present time of training when they asked Jesus, who would be the greatest.
One of the places Jesus taught them was at the Sea of Galilee. This is where Jesus called four of his followers, where the raging storm brought fear to the disciples while Jesus slept in the boat, and where Peter walked on water. All of these occurrences displayed Jesus’s glory, power, and His provision. But it also showed His concern for them and a desire for His disciples to trust when they felt overwhelmed.
Matthew 14:25-32 says, “25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
How many times have we as writers been discouraged, passed over for a book contract, received a rejection letter or fought writer’s block? What did we do?
Peter gives us a great example of what we should do. His faith inspires us to step out of our comfort zone and meet Jesus. But we can all relate to what happened next. Peter turned his attention to the storm. In a similar way, we take our eyes off Jesus. We begin to look at our inadequacies, our past, or an approaching storm, and if we focus too long on the waves, they will surely topple us over. When that happens, we miss Jesus’ teaching to take courage, to remember He is with us, to stop doubting and have faith.

Everyone who is a disciple will find themselves in training. If we allow God to have His way in our lives—through our experiences and the things we learn—He will use us to touch others in ways unique to us. But that kind of life is a journey, following the Author who fulfills His purpose in us, so whatever we do, in word or deed, He will be glorified.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been involved in ministry for fifteen years teaching youth and adults, and doing counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world.



The following is a taste of Tanya's book, Unconditional. 



Chapter One

Elizabeth pushed herself up from the bed. Her gaze swept the dark room and fixed on the hall nightlight. Her hand grazed over her husband’s shoulder when a thought gripped her. Katherine. The baby monitor stood silent. Darkness shrouded the red and green lights that indicated movement.
Her chest tightened. She hurled the covers away and leapt to the floor. Panic made her clumsy as she rushed to her daughter’s room. She lunged over the crib. No sound. No movement. Not even a stirring of air from her tiny nostrils.
“Katherine!” Elizabeth snatched her daughter from the mattress. The infant drew a heavy breath as her eyes flung wide open.
Lord, what’s happening?
Elizabeth’s bare feet pounded the cold tile as she ran back to her husband. “Chris, wake up! Katherine quit breathing again!”
Chris rubbed his eyes and scowled. “What is it?”
“We need to take Katherine to the hospital. She stopped breathing.”
He studied their child. “She seems to be breathing now. Are you sure?”
“Of course, I’m sure.”
“She’s fine.” Chris fell back against the pillow.
“Please—”
“We don’t have the money to take her to the hospital when there’s nothing wrong with her.”
“But there is. She stopped breathing.”
He sat back up. “You’ve been worried about her since before she was born. You’re all worked up because she hasn’t rolled over yet. The doctor said that’s normal for being early.”
She’s called a preemie. She glared into his eyes. “If you were home more often you’d know she’s not fine.”
“I’m home, Elizabeth, and she’s fine.”
Heat flushed her cheeks as tears filled her eyes. “I’m scared. Can’t you see that? I need you to pray for our daughter. I need you to hold me and tell me everything will be all right.”
“Look, she’s sleeping.” His voice softened as his hand ran down her thigh. “Come to bed.”
“How can you care so little? I’m worried about our baby.”
Chris’s hand dropped to the sheets. “Shut the door when you leave.” He turned away from her.
Elizabeth stood for a moment unable to speak. With their baby in her arms, she slowly closed the door behind her and sank her teeth into her lip to keep from crying. If tears came, it would be for her daughter, not for the stranger in her bed.