Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord … In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it. (1 Kings 6:1, 38, NASB95)
During the past year, I’ve felt frustrated by life more than once. I’ve had my share of health issues, two with long recoveries, and those health issues have made it difficult to keep up my home and write my books. When I came to these two passages, the opening and closing of chapter 6 of 1st Kings, I had to stop and remind myself again that some things take time.
It was 480 years after the Hebrews came out of the land of Egypt and four years into Solomon’s reign before Israel began to build the temple in Jerusalem. And once they started, it took seven years to finish it.
It usually takes me about six months to write a novel, all things being equal — and it doesn’t seem like they’ve been equal for a long while. Six months isn’t so much really. Half a year. Nothing close to 480 years or even seven years.
It’s God’s timing and not mine that’s important. I have to show up and do the work. That’s what’s required of me. Show up. Do the work.
There’s a “Robin’s Revised Version” (the RRV) of 1st Chronicles 28:20 (modified from the NLT) that has been taped to a succession of computer monitors in my office for at least a dozen years. This is how it reads:
“Be strong and courageous, Robin, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the number of words you need to write, for the Lord God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to this novel is finished correctly.”