Saturday, May 7, 2022

Don’t Miss God’s Good in Your Writing

By Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Life and writing are similar in that both have their ups and downs. I love the ups. The downs, not so much. But it’s in the down times where we learn the most.

Since we do so much of writing in solitude, it’s easy for obstacles or perceived problems to become exaggerated in our minds. The same creativity that helps us when we face a blank page or screen can be our undoing when we run into reality.

There is a popular saying that says when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I hate that saying. When my going gets tough, I want to break for ice cream. Because, truly, I’m not all that tough. When the Lord leads me through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I look for a detour sign. Except there is no detour. And there is no way to get through life, or to write, without running into hardship.

And life’s hardships are no joke. A call from the oncologist, a pink slip when your child gets accepted to their dream college. A broken relationship. Fill in your own blank. No one gets through life unscathed. Or unscarred.

Recently, I discovered a new way to look at hardship while I was reading through the Book of Jeremiah. Now, Jeremiah will never be mistaken for a self-help guru. He is rightly known as the weeping prophet because much of his message is foretelling the fall of his city and country. However, there was one nugget in one of his letters that caught my eye.

Jerusalem had fallen, and Nebuchadnezzar had carried many of its citizens off into exile. Then Jeremiah sent a letter to the king of Babylon saying that his kingdom would soon fall. Not the way to build your platform.

But while Jeremy was delivering God’s message of defeat, another prophet, Shemaiah, sent a letter saying that the priest should put Jeremiah into the stock and neck-irons. In Jeremiah 29, we see God’s opinion of someone who preaches rebellion against the Lord.

Verse 32 shows two ways God would punish the false prophet. First, God said “he would not have anyone living among this people.”

Second, and the one that caught my eye, “He shall not see the good that I am about to do to my people.” Even though His people were in exile, their city destroyed, and their promised land taken, God had not finished with them.

God has a plan for each of us. He says so throughout His scriptures. And, usually, His plans involve some sort of hardship. As much as I cringe from hardships, it terrifies me to think that I might miss the good He plans to work through me because of a temporary hardship. He is greater than any trial I could ever face.

Again, I’m not minimizing what any of us are going through. Many of us face adversity that I can’t imagine. But in God’s eyes, they are all temporary. The fruition of His incredible plan has yet to be seen.

It is the people who realize this, who soldier through while carrying incredible burdens, who become the role models for the rest of us. Their lives show us how to act when our time comes. As it will.

So, let’s adjust the saying about the tough get going. Instead of putting the emphasis on our toughness, or lack thereof, the truth is more that when the going gets tough, His children are encountering His plan. And that is right where He wants us.


Tim Suddeth is a stay-at-home dad and butler for his wonderful, adult son with autism. He has written numerous blogs posts, short stories, and three novels waiting for publication. He is a frequent attendee at writers’ conferences, including the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and a member of Word Weavers and ACFW. He lives near Greenville, SC where he shares a house with a bossy Shorky and three too-curious Persians. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at and

Featured Image: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


  1. Thanks Tim, I needed this. I too am not a real fan of the idea that the 'tough get going'. I have wondered just where are they going? Is it with God or somewhere else? That's just the snarky side of me I guess. Still, these are timely words at a timely time. Blessings, Donevy

    1. Donevy. I have a lot of snark in me, too.

  2. Tim, this hit home since just this past week, I saw the good God brought out of a trial. Thankfully, when the trial hit (back in January), my first thought was "why not me?" At the same time, I've been struggling and praying over a story. The good that came was a clear direction for this story. I love how God cares for us and is always working for our good!

  3. Such an encouraging word. Thank you.

  4. Great post Tim! An encouragement for all of us!