Hope Shelved

Cheri Strange

Day 9: Hope Shelved

Scripture

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. Haggai 1:2-4; 7-8

 

Devotional Material: Hope Shelved

The doors of opportunity had slammed shut. It was obvious. For years I worked toward becoming a published author in the Christian market. Not because I wanted to move that direction, but I pursued it because I believed God was leading me down the path. After about nine years, of writing and submitting, a publishing house was interested. As I pushed through the process of receiving that long-awaited contract, the editor, who had been so interested, literally died. Can you believe I never heard from that publishing house again?

All those years and that was that. I stuck my manuscript and my calling in a notebook. Since I’m not really fond of rejection, I had no intention of pursuing more avenues. I shelved it. Done.

Hope Shelved

How about we adopt some kids? Women’s minister at a church sounds cool. Maybe try a marathon or two. Host a bar-b-que for the neighborhood. Anything but risk exposing myself to intimidating nay-sayers and a world of rejection. So that’s exactly what this girl did.

It was at the end of the kitchen bar on a December morning after the dust was nice and heavy on that notebook when I encountered this message from Haggai.

 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.

Revisiting the Shelves

A church plant was not the message to me at that moment. In fact, it had nothing to do with an actual structure. I had taken the work He envisioned for me to do and put it neatly away. The plan didn’t work out, so I quit. Instead, I pursued other assorted projects. His agenda was out of sight. On that December morning, the words from this passage penetrated my heart and mind like a bucket of ice tossed into the shower. I knew what I needed to do.

It was time to revisit the shelves and recommit to that which He called me to pursue before—even if I could not yet see how it was going to turn out. This was a hope-extending experience for me in my kitchen just as it was for the people in the days of Haggai.

What About You?

Is there anything the Lord has placed on your heart in the past that, for whatever reason, you have shelved? Maybe God does want you to build something or help in that capacity. Maybe He is speaking to you about another issue of obedience. Let me encourage you to move forward if God is the one stirring you.

Although it’s our natural preference, we cannot expect to be shaded from discomfort or disappointment in the stepping out. In fact, the Bible assures us of the opposite (2 Timothy 4:5; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 3:3). The point here with Haggai is not that it all works out so that we can tie a bow on top, but that God takes pleasure in our obedience and is honored in our service to Him.

 

 

Leave a prayer or response below so that we can participate together as we walk this journey alongside each other.

To return to the beginning of the plan, click here.

Click here to return to the previous day.

cheri strange speaker author she yearns

 

Popular Reading Plans

if you like shelves you will like help

if you like shelves you will like what if

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.