Wow, there's a lot in these chapters. For instance, how about this verse about the importance of teaching? Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of God, to living it, and to teaching Israel to live its truths and ways. (Ezra 7:8-10 MSG) (Yup, I have the spiritual gift teaching/encouragement, always has been my strongest gift on those self-assessments.)
But two verses made me think of a question commonly asked writers? "What happened when you received 'the call'?"
"The call" refers to the phone from an editor or agent, wanting to contract with you for your book--especially the first one. Now, I have contracted 30 books and never received a phone call. What I did get, back in 2003, was an email from Tracie Peterson, wanting to contract Romanian Rhapsody. I received the message on Thanksgiving Eve, so you can begin to imagine the kind of celebration I had!
Today's description of the first Passover celebrated after the temple was rebuilt and of Era's revival both express that impossible, laugh out loud, incredible, unbelievable joy.
God had plunged them into a sea of joy. Ezra 6:21 Oh, we only get to swim in that sea a few times in our lifetimes, but those occasions are memorable, even more rare than the mountain tops..
And the way Ezra expressed his joy tickled me. He thanked God for the opportunity to do what he wanted to do: Blessed be God . . .who put it in the mind of the king to beautify the Temple of God. Writers without publishers and readers are sad people indeed.
Then comes the tickle part: Not only that, he caused the king . . . actually to like me and back me. (Ezra 7:27-28)
They like me! They like my "baby," my book! They actually are going to back me by taking on the expense of printing it, editing it, creating a cover and a marketing plan--and paying me!
For those of you not yet published: take heart in what else Ezra had to say. My God was on my side and I was ready to go. (Ezra 7:27-28) The time you've spent learning your craft has not been wasted. You will be ready to go, when your call comes.
I am sure this applies across any work of heart and soul and hard work.
So rejoice in that sea of joy when God sends that publisher or agent actually likes you, your work, and will back it up!