So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. (1 Sam 3:19 NKJ)
As I am preparing to launch my new novel, One Smooth Stone, I took great encouragement from this verse when it arrived in my inbox the other day. The calling of Samuel has always held a fascination for me. There are many things to be gleaned from that passage of scripture, many that pertain to being a writer.
Samuel responded to the call even though he was not sure what it was, where it was coming from or where it would lead. Sometimes the nudges we get from the Lord are like that. We’re not sure about them, but we move forward. Sometimes we feel God is telling us to write a certain article or poem or book. We have no way of knowing what God intends for that piece of writing but we move forward, show it to friends, have it critiqued, finally submit it and perhaps see it published. Then we stand back in awe at the amazing things God does with it.
Samuel sought out the wisdom of his mentor and it was Eli who directed him to turn to the Lord and to respond. Our mentors, our encouragers, our critique partners are all vital in our growth as writers. They have been put in our lives for good reason. We would be wise to seek their counsel and help often. We would be wise to listen to the critiques of our work, recognize others see weaknesses that we are blind to and be willing to make the changes necessary.
Samuel stayed close to the Lord throughout his life and became one of the great prophets of Israel. He learned obedience at Eli’s knee and never forgot it. Note the last phrase in the scripture above – “the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” All of what Samuel spoke to the people of Israel bore fruit for God. Nothing was wasted.
It is the Lord who directs and guards our words. It is the Lord who will take them to the right people at the right time and use them to His purposes. Note the word, “none.” I take great encouragement from that word alone. Nothing God pours through us is wasted. Each article, each poem, each novel, each devotional, each book will bear the fruit He has in mind. Even those things we write that may never appear in print are important as part of the process. They are doing things in us and the results will show in our work. We may not always see the results God has intended, but we can be assured that it will be accomplished.