I’m sorry I left you hanging last week. (See “Life Verses – On Fire“) Like the two on the road to Emmaus, my heart was on fire as the Lord impressed upon me that He wanted me to write. My willing heart had to seek His heart—a long process in bringing me to the fulness of His will.
That year, I was engaged in a Bible study of Matthew with other ladies in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). As I worked through the study, I found myself thinking of the lesser known characters along the way.
I wanted to stop and imagine what might be the rest of their stories. Wouldn’t it be intriguing to see them as more than just two-verse people? What were their families like? How did they relate to Jesus? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to write about one of these and bring them to life?
Every now and then, I noticed that Matthew recorded this phrase from Jesus,
“He who ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
A few chapters later, there it came again.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 13:9 and 43
I stopped each time to ponder those words.
Later in our study of Matthew, we came to the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the flurry of activity with the Temple guards, religious leaders, and disciples, Peter spontaneously started swinging his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant.
I checked the other three gospels and found a few more facts about this man. Jesus healed the man’s ear. The man’s name was Malchus.
At some point, everything came together for me. Malchus was a lesser known character. He lost his ear, but Jesus gave him back his hearing. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” What happened to this servant? Malchus worked for the high priest who was determined to have Jesus crucified? How did that personal touch, that healing, affect Malchus’ decisions?
That, my friends, was how my first book gave birth. I titled it “Ears to Hear.”
It had been a long, slow process that year, but the Lord seared my mind with the idea of looking at lesser known characters in the Bible, then to apply “ears to hear” to the account of Malchus with Jesus in the garden and his miraculous healing.
It took seven years to get from research to writing, editing, and seeking a publisher to the final finished product. Many times I cried out to the Lord, “Who am I to think I can do such a thing?” Then He would remind me that indeed I couldn’t, but He could—with my cooperation.
Another seven years later, Nicodemus’ story was published in “A Heart for Truth” which was twice as long.
Now, five years later, the story of Matthew is getting close to ready in “Eyes to See.”
I sing from a favorite hymn, “Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”
~ Joyce ~