Marcia Lee Laycock lives and writes from central Alberta, Canada. She is the winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her devotionals have been widely published. A second edition of The Spur of The Moment is about to go to print. See her website – http://www.vinemarc.com/

I stared at the financial statement I’d just taken out of an envelope. I’ve never been good with numbers so I went on to the second sheet, a letter from my publisher. He started off by saying that my novel, One Smooth Stone “experienced light sales,” but said considering the state of the economy in the last year, he is hopeful the next one will be better.
Yeah. Me too.
In the next paragraph he notes that “Your annual statement includes earned royalties of $6.08 that have been applied to your advance.” Seven hundred and fifty odd dollars to go. Wow. I could have been depressed. Okay, I admit, I was, for a moment or two. But then I had another thought. This statement is dismal, yet my publisher wants me to write a sequel to that book. I’m working on it now. I was suddenly greatly encouraged by his support and faith in me as a writer. The bottom line isn’t looking good yet he is telling me to keep going. Wow. What an endorsement!
There have been times in my life when God has done the same thing, times that looked bleak yet God said, “keep going.” I’m reminded of Joshua’s story in the book of Deuteronomy. In chapter 31 Moses is handing over the leadership. Joshua is the chosen one. Both of these men have been through some hard times, times when they were discouraged and wanted to give up. Joshua is about to lead a hard-hearted rebellious people into a land that is occupied by mighty armies. So Moses tells him, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land… The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deut. 31:7-8).
I’m encouraged by a couple of things in this passage – number one, Joshua had no option. Note the word, “must.” It was his calling, his destiny, the thing God had created him to do. Number two, it wasn’t all up to him. Note the words, “with this people.” Moses did not say Joshua was to lead them. That was God’s place. God himself would go before them and remain with them forever. What an endorsement!
As writers I believe we are in the same position as Joshua. We are pitted against a mighty army (just read Ephesians 6:12 if you don’t believe me). We will face huge obstacles and at times things will look hopeless. But God is going before us. He’s given us a job to do, one uniquely suited to each of us, and He will stand beside us to see it accomplished.
So I’m not going to let myself be discouraged by that six dollars and eight cents. The God of the universe has put his endorsement on the cover of my life. He’s standing beside be and He has a whopping big check waiting for me in heaven – in fact, it’s a crown of gold inlaid with precious jewels and one day I’ll get to lay it at His feet.
Nothing could be better than that.