Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Not Getting What You Want

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

According to the Gospel of John, on the third day when Jesus came to Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, John the Baptist pointed to Him and declared, “Look! The Lamb of God!” (John 1: 36) Apparently, the Lord continued on from there because two of the disciples who had been following the baptizer then followed after Jesus. One of them was Andrew. The other, most probably, was John (the author of the gospel).

Jesus turned and, seeing them, asked, “What do you want?”

An amazing question, isn’t it? What do you want? Especially when one considers that it came from the mouth of the Creator of the universe. The One who through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made (John 1:3). With everything at His command and control, He has asked a most simple question: what do you want?

Whatever the answer… all they had to do was ask. 

Over 1800 years later, the Reverend Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) penned these words: God will either give you what you ask, or something better.

The Surface Answer

For most Christian believers, the surface answer is this: I want my work to be published. And, hopefully, for most this is not a vanity request. This is a purpose request. God has placed within us a talent. A special talent. We see the world through nouns and verbs, adverbs and adjectives … the way a painter sees it through light and shadow. We don’t just see corn growing on the side of the road, we see farmland, stretching row upon row, large stalks of green raising their arms in praise toward the sun, billowing occasionally in the late afternoon breeze, waving at the passing birds. 

It’s a beautiful thing, this talent of words.

It’s also a beautiful thing, this call to put those words on paper so as to draw others to the One who gave them. Who speaks them into our hearts, drawing us to our pads of paper or laptops or other such writing apparatuses. 

But what if no one ever reads our work? What if, say, only our parents? Or our spouses? Or our children or best friend or … What if no one ever reads what God has spoken to us, not just in a whisper but nearly shouting at times? What then?

So, we ask the Lord to bless our work … get it published … and let it be a blessing to others.

And then, having done the best we could, we send the work away in hopes that some publisher somewhere will declare it “good.” Or even “good enough,” though we are certain it is beyond all that. 

And then …

And then the rejection letter comes. Or letters. To make that kick in the gut worse, we hear that fellow writer, perhaps someone in our critique group or a new friend we met at a writing conference or workshop, has received a contract offer. And not just any contract offer; this one is one for the records. 

(Isn’t that just wonderful …)

We say, “Congrats!” and we mean it (we’re certain we do …) and our smiles turn to grins that, eventually cause our cheeks to hurt. But we keep doing what we believe we have been called to do—write—as we wait … and receive, ah yet, another rejection.

And, so, we cry. Or maybe just pout. 

But, notice …

There are two things I want you to notice about the first paragraphs in this blog post:

1. Jesus turned around and saw the disciples who followed Him. He saw them … and He sees you. He knows what you want and why you want it, but He is asking anyway. So, talk to Him about it. Get it all out. Kick and scream if you must. I promise He can handle it.

2. Look again at M’Cheyne’s words: God will either give you what you ask, or something better. In your time of talking with God, He may reveal something better. Way better than you could have imagined to ask for. Perhaps the answer won’t come right away. You may have to wait a minute or a month or even a couple of years to get it … but when you do, the wait will have made perfect sense.

I know. I promise you, I do. More importantly, He does.


Eva Marie Everson is the multiple award-winning and bestselling author of over 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and North Georgia Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy a lake view, their children, and grandchildren. They are owned by a very small dog.


  1. Wise words Ms. Eva Marie. I've come to the conclusion that my writing is healing and helping me; and that's enough for me. If God sees fit to use it to help others, all the better. That's the "icing on the cake" my friend. God's blessings; and thank you for being such an encouraging voice in this long, sometimes lonely journey.

  2. Beautifully stated. Our God is so much bigger than we think.

  3. Have you been lurking around my house? Thank you for these encouraging words—things we know but often lose sight of. Blessings, Starr

  4. Eva Marie,
    Thanks for the preparation and time you put in to always write something worth the read.

  5. Jesus saw... thank you for sharing this timely and wise reminder that Jesus sees me. He knows what I want and the challenges I face.

  6. Oh, my, Eva Marie, what a wonderful post!! A few years ago, I was driving on a very nearly empty tank of gas. As I drove I pleaded with God, "Just get me home. Just get me home." He stopped me in my (ahem) tracks when He asked me, "Is that all you want?" I still get goosebumps thinking about it! I've blogged about it, and talk about it a bit further, but He did, in fact, get me home.
    Next morning, however, when I went out to run errands, the car wouldn't start. It was out of gas.
    He gave me *exactly* what I asked for!