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The Needle in the Haystack

Do you ever feel like a needle in a haystack?

We can feel that way when we feel outnumbered, overwhelmed with competition, insignificant, skipped-over or  unnoticed.  I have been on a journey I never dreamed I would be on.  I have taught Bible studies most of my adult life.  I wrote a Bible study for my small group a few years ago titled In the Beginning: Genesis 1-11.  I self published this through a local publisher.  It ran its course on Amazon but I did not have the exposure that a large publishing house could give me.  About the time I wanted to give up, WestBow Press endorsed my book. Over the last few months, they have been working on re-publishing In the Beginning:Genesis 1-11 and offering it on hundreds of online bookstores.  As I write this blog, they are in the process of planning a publicity campaign to promote it. That all sounds wonderful, right?

It is truly a God thing and answer to prayer that one of the oldest and most prestigious Christian publishing houses has picked up my Bible study and are taking it to the next level.  In my initial phone conversation with WestBow, the man asked me to describe myself in two words.  I told him I was bold and real.  So, if you have done my study, then you definitely know I am both of those things.

I would like you to know that I am also real when I pray to the Lord.  Since I originally wrote this study, it has been a much, much longer journey to get it out to the world than I ever imagined.  I feel like I am a tiny little needle in an enormous haystack of authors and Christian influencers. Just keeping up with social media posting is an enormous and tedious task on its own.  As I went to the Lord in prayer today, I was very candid about how I am feeling.  I know there is much work left to be done before I can begin to see the impact of this Bible study.  And sometimes, I get discouraged on the journey.  It’s like you have been told there is something so wonderful beyond the mountain and the forest but you can’t see it yet.  You trust that it is there because you trust the one who told you it is there.  However, your legs are tired and you can’t see it from where you are presently.  You rest, you pray, and then you start walking again.

Part of my struggle is I miss the feedback I got from teaching a live audience.  My Bible study attendees were wonderful.  I would see them cry, sometimes laugh or nod their head as they listened to how the Lord customized my words in the message to fit their current situation.  I am inspired when I know the Lord is working through me to address a person right where they are in life.  I know when the communication tools are finally in place, I will be able to connect and understand my audience better.

I love writing Bible studies because my time in the Word is so special.  The Lord tells me things, shows me things, and explains things to me that I never knew or thought of before.  One of the most memorable and impressionable moments in writing In the Beginning was the story of Noah.  I am reminded that Noah was the ONLY righteous needle in a huge haystack of unrepentant sinners.  Yet, God saw him and called him to build an ark.  God was going to bring judgment on the world by bringing a catastrophic flood to destroy the unrighteous.  Noah spent 120 years building an ark even when the world had never seen rain before. Not only did Noah spend 120 years building the ark, but he endured a flood that kept him on that ark for 371 days.  When I was in the midst of writing the lessons covering Noah, I got a new perspective on God’s timing.

That brings me to a point I want to make.  Noah was a real person and his story brings out real application that I need to apply to my own life.  When I feel like a needle in a haystack of authors, Christian influencers and social media posts, I need to remember that God remembers me.  He has a plan and a purpose for me.  He has a plan and purpose for my Bible study, In the Beginning.  The work is more tedious and the journey is longer than I ever expected. When God told Noah He would bring flooding rains for forty days and forty nights, Noah probably expected things would be back to normal in forty days.  It was 371 days before he could disembark from the ark.; and the world did not look normal.

Noah was the needle God used to save Noah’s family and to repopulate the earth with people and animals.  When you feel overwhelmed, outnumbered, insignificant and unnoticed, remember that Noah was the only righteous person on earth when God commanded him to build the ark.  If we give up before the work is finished, then we leave God’s work incomplete and our purpose unfulfilled. So keep walking, my friend.  Keep hammering away! The rainbow is just over the mountain!

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I would love to hear about the journey you are on.  You can leave a comment below.  I hope this message inspires you to keep going when things take longer than expected.


Janice Bobanis


2 Comments on “The Needle in the Haystack

  1. This post is so encouraging to all of us who are waiting for Gods’ plans for our futures and our childrens’ futures. You are making such a difference with so many even though it is different from your teaching Bible Studies. SO glad you were obedient when God called you to write! Keep it up please!

    • You are an encouragement to me! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I am thrilled that this encouraged you. We have to wait on God’s timing because anything short of His timing is less than perfect for us. Hard to remember and hard to apply for most of us. Father knows best, right? That’s what we have to hang on to, my friend.

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