Tuesday, June 15, 2021

When God’s Ways with My Writing are Not My Ways

Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Here is what I had hoped would happen after I hit “send” on my latest book proposal. The editor would almost immediately respond by email: 

“Wow! Thank you for choosing us to send this amazing proposal of what we believe will be our next best-selling book! Your manuscript is now on a fast track to publication and attached please find the contract. We look forward to working with you on getting these fabulous words out into the world.”

What actually happened? I am still waiting for a publisher response. Seven months later. 

God’s ways are not my ways. No joke. My timing for things (well, at least for good news things) is almost always sooner than what actually happens. God’s timing—which I know to be true from a lifetime of experience—is Perfect Timing though it often seems late or thwarted altogether. 

Can you relate? In your current work-in-process, what are your hopes for the outcome? But what seems to be actuallyhappening? 

May I lift our eyes a bit today to what God may be orchestrating in the heavenlies? My answer comes straight from God’s Word.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55.8-11 NLT

Through the prophet Isaiah, God is reminding us that He is God and we are not. His ways are far beyond anything we could imagine! When we see delay, disappointment, and discouragement, He sees opportunity. Not only for our eventual words to serve others, but for us to grow in the process of that journey. When His timing is right—as only the Sovereign Lord ordains—those words based on His Word, will produce with power!

So, I say this to myself, and I say this to you today, dear writing friend, 

“Yield yourself to God’s Ways—relinquish your small dreams and fast timing. There will be fruit, but not without a season of planting, pruning, and perseverance. Trust in the slow work of God.” 

Then you and I will reap this remarkable benefit of rejoicing in God’s Ways, as our scripture text continues to reveal:

“You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” Isaiah 55.12-13 NLT

I want to live in joy and peace. I want to bring honor to the Lord’s name and be a conduit of His power and love. 

Lord, I will wait, and I will work. And I will continue to stand in wonder of your goodness and grace in my life. Amen.


Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 15 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her award-winning books include Soul Strong, Life-Giving Choices, Dwelling Places, and Ordinary Graces. Lucinda, a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and AWSA, received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for ‘The Write Conversation.’ 

Whether coaching writers and speakers, pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. As a communications teacher, she has served on the faculty of Speak Up Conference, Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Florida Christian Writers Conference, Asheville Christian Writers Conference and co-directs the annual spiritual retreat reNEW – retreat for New England Writing & Speaking. Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, McDowell shares words from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at WWW.LUCINDASECRESTMCDOWELL.COM


  1. Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Lucinda. Writers need persistence, patience, and lots of prayer!

  2. I am pleased it’s only taken twent-five years to get to this point. It’s so much better than Job’s experience.

  3. That timing thing...not a fan. Every time. But it is wonderful to know that my good, kind God knows the future and is working in and through me accordingly. When disappointments come, I know His ways are always best. This is a post all writers should read once a month. Seriously. Thanks, Lucinda!

  4. Thanks Lucinda for this message. I am close to being done with my first time novel and keep and heed your advice for the next step in the journey. Can't wait to read your next publication!

  5. This is just what I needed to hear today, Lucinda—thanks!