We view the Bible as our daily
problem solver. We turn to the Bible for inspiration,
insight, comfort, guidance, and answers to troubling
challenges in our world.
Guest of the Month, Alison Inches,
shares how prayer helped her write Designs
and Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook, which seemed
like an impossible task.
I was asked to write a biography
about Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets.
The deadline was intense -- eight weeks to write
a 128 page book. It didn't seem humanly possible.
After I met with the archivist
and interviewed Jim Henson's friends and family,
I had a ton of notes, pictures and information
-- but absolutely no idea where to begin. So I
started with God. I knew deep down that impossible
tasks can be done through reliance on God. The
Bible is full of individuals who faced monstrous
challenges and were victorious. One of the first
things I had to do was "bind the strong man,"
as it says in Mark 3:27. For me the strong man
was fear, self-doubt and lack -- a big lack of
One of my fears was how to organize
the artwork to tell a story. The passage, "God
is not the author of confusion, but of peace"
(I Cor. 14:33), helped me to face the puzzle before
me. The statement, "Precept must be upon
precept, precept upon precept; line upon line,
line upon line; here a little and there a little"
(Isa. 28:10), gave me courage to take the project
one step at a time -- no matter how small the
Soon I began to trust God and
this passage from Psalm 90 became one of my humble
mantras: "Let thy work appear unto thy servants
and thy glory unto their children" (16).
I also prayed to know, "With God all things
are possible" (Matt. 19:26).
When I was tempted to think
it was my book, I reminded myself of what
Jesus said: "I can of mine own self do nothing"
(John 5:30). I also reflected upon this passage
from Genesis: "And God saw every thing that
he had made, and, behold, it was very good"
(1:31). What a relief it was to know that God's
work was already finished! I began to realize
I was merely transcribing what He had already
done. I listened with all my heart. Questions
would come to me like: Can you imagine the world
without Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rowlf or Gonzo? And
the words began to come. I realized God had given
me a voice to praise these wonderful characters
and my God-given voice was adding to the overall
chorus of praise for the Muppets. I knew this
would please God.
Near the end of the project,
when I had been working around the clock, my walks
or runs up Mount Tamalpais every day were particularly
helpful because I would pray for two hours. The
following passages were especially comforting
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength
For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my
God will enlighten my darkness." (Ps.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings
as eagles; they shall run and not be weary;
and they shall walk and not faint. (Isa. 40:31)
It got down to the wire. I had three chapters
to go and one weekend left. I felt totally burned
out. To get away from my desk, I went to my mailbox
and found a letter from a dear friend. She wrote
to say she had been editing a book by Joan Walsh
Anglund -- one of my favorite illustrators from
childhood. One time, I had told this friend how
much I loved Joan's books and how I had saved
all of her calendars. I also told her how I had
cut out Joan's pictures and stuck them on gifts
and school notebooks. I even made wall-hangings
from them. I treasured every detail of her artwork,
especially the loving expressions on her characters.
My friend remembered this story and shared it
with Joan. Included in my friend's letter was
a picture by Joan Walsh Anglund drawn especially
for me. I squealed with joy as I studied the picture
of two little girls side-by-side on a log. Joan
sent loving wishes and a note that said "
means we are all kindred spirits."
I sat down at my desk and put Joan's picture
in front of me. These two little faces beamed
so much love at me, I no longer felt deflated.
Now I knew God was right there with me. And I
finished my deadline.
When I turned in the manuscript, I expected a
lot of rewrites. But the editor didn't request
a single revision. She made a few minor edits
before publication, and the book debuted to nothing
but glowing reviews. I knew, without a doubt,
that God had written this book. I had come to
realize that I hadn't tried to get God to perform
a miracle for me. Instead I was a witness to what
He had already created.