What Happens When We Give Up Too Early?

I'll be honest, I've wanted to give up on Sandalfeet Ministries over the past year. There, I said it out loud so the devil knows his doings can't hide in the dark anymore. I've been plugging along with Sandalfeet for close to eight years now. I've seen lots of fruit from it, but sometimes, it just seems a bit unnecessary...I mean, have you seen how many blogs are out there today and how many podcasts there are? I'm just but one fish in a very big pond.

However, I know God needs this fish in that pond for a reason. It's why I have kept going with Sandalfeet. On the days when it seems like it is going nowhere, nobody is reading or listening, and the costs, oh the costs, BUT THEN, God drops huge nuggets of opportunity on me that I had no idea were coming.

For instance, recently Books-a-Million called me out of the blue and asked if they could carry my Advent devotional, Simplify the Season, in one of their brick-and-mortar stores in New Jersey. This is huge! It will be the first time one of my books has made its way into a large brick-and-mortar store! They've guaranteed a certain number of books they are going to purchase and get this, they are going to be making all of the promotional material and sending it out to their email distribution list. Only God!

I also recently got another unsolicited opportunity. It came from the editor of the Atlanta Christian Voice. She recently read my new book, Spiritual Orphans, and she wanted to write about it. You can read the interview by clicking HERE.

I don't write any of these things to brag. I write them to give glory to God. He's the One who set these opportunities into motion. I wasn't looking for them, but what would I have missed had I closed up shop on Sandalfeet? More importantly, who would have not heard about the hope and love of Jesus because I ended my part of the story too soon?

On my website, my tag line has always been, "Never Give Up Hope on Being Part of God's Plan." I've had to revisit this in my own life and calling.

We see it every day. People quitting the ministry. People leaving their spouses. People quitting jobs. And sadly, people ending their lives. People give up because things get hard, aren’t what they were supposed to be, or have simply lost interest. However, when we end our story before our story is supposed to end, we name ourselves as the author and no longer recognize God as the ultimate Author. When we decide what stops and starts and when, we put ourselves, our desires, our limits at the forefront instead of allowing God to show up, provide, and write the final story.

As tough as it is, we must keep going. This doesn’t just apply to suicide.* This also applies to those who give up on callings, relationships, pursuits, people…anything you feel like God ordained in the beginning, but then became too hard, too boring, riddled with challenges, whatever the case may be. Although God can make our failures and stops into good for His people and His glory (Romans 8:28), it isn’t always the story God wanted to be written.
I was reminded during a sermon a friend preached recently that “sometimes we complain about the things someone else is begging for.” Maybe we begged for something from God. We got it, but then we got tired of or lost interest in the thing we asked for. It makes me think of when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. They’d complain, God would provide, and they’d complain again. It went on and on.

What we need to do in the complaining moments, the hard moments, the uncertain moments is to take a step back and have a conversation with God. I’ve kept a prayer journal for the past several years. Some prayers I look at now and think, “What was I thinking?!?!?” and other times it makes me remember the start. Putting tough things in a Jesus-centered perspective helps me make sense of it. It’s also what people did throughout the Bible to help push God’s story along. When we read about those who did some things for the Kingdom that had they stopped midway through their task, the narrative would have looked a lot different for them, the people around them, and for you and me today.

  • I think of the chosen ones. What if they hadn’t left Egypt when Pharaoh finally said, “Go!”? (Exodus 12:31)

  • What if the people had thought marching around Jericho five times was enough? Or on the last day, only five times was enough instead of seven? What if they had tried to take the city without doing what God had said to do? (Joshua 6) Rahab and her family were rescued in Joshua 6:23–25. What if she had died that day instead? Rahab is in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

  • What if Ruth hadn’t gone with her mother-in-law, Naomi? What if she hadn’t sought out work in someone’s field? What if she hadn’t desired God to be her God? (Book of Ruth) Remember, Ruth is also in the lineage of Jesus.

  • What if Mary hadn’t kept the baby she found herself pregnant with? What if she feared for her life and aborted the baby instead?

  • What if Peter hadn’t come to his senses and continued to deny he knew Christ? (Matthew 16:18) Where would the Church be today?

  • What if Saul had kept on killing Christians as opposed to becoming a Christian? (Acts 9)

Every single scenario above could have had a different ending if the person gave up too early. Not one of these examples had anything easy about it. All their callings were hard. What might have started out looking promising became difficult, and often impossible, without relying on God to show up and provide. It is no different for you and me. We aren’t promised easy but we must live with confident hope. If God called you to it, He will see you through it. Don’t write the ending to your own story. Let the Author do that for you.

*If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please get help. Talk to a pastor, a friend, a spouse, a counselor…someone who has your best interests at heart. Talking about it exposes the cruelty of it all. I can’t, nor can anyone else, guarantee the pain will go away, but you are worth living your full life, not ending it before it is meant to be over. God loves you and cares for you and does not want you to harm the beautiful creation He made that is you. If you don’t have anyone to talk to right now, please call the suicide help hotline. Their number is 800-273-TALK (8255). If you visit their website, there is also a live chat option.





Abortion Alcohol Ashkenazi Beer Blogger Blog Christian blogger Daniel Loeb Drinking Gay Marriage Holocaust Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Margaret Sanger New Year Paul Singer Private Sin Public Sin Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Spirits Tim Gill Wine #Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 2019 2020 2023 2024 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Against the Grain Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson Alcohol All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Amanda Guyger Amber Gugyer American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Soaking Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashkenazi Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Assemble Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Austin Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Beer Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Botham Jean Brandt Jean Brian barcelona Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Broken People Broken things Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Cancel culture Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon quotes Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christian Radio Christian blogger Christian blog Christian podcast Christianity Christian Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Contentment Content Cool Christianity Coop Coronavirus Corrie ten Boom Country Club Covid-19 Covid19 Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Daniel Loeb Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Don't Give Up Don\'t Give Up Don\\\'t Give Up Don\\\\\\\'t Give Up Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Drag Queen Reading Hour Drag Queen Drinking Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time to Turn Off the Darkness Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Esther Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Evil Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gather Gay Marriage Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes Get Out of the Tree GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God's Not Dead God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie Growth HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Healthy Habits Heart Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Helper Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holocaust Holy Spirit Holy Week Holy Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Is It Our Garden Moment Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus clubs Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Jimmy Valvano quote Jimmy Valvano Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Just Ask Erin Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kingdom Winds Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Legacy Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Life Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Margaret Sanger Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Middle-class Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America NYC Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Blog New Year New York City NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Word One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Overcome Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Paul Singer Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Persection Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race President Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Progressive Christianity Progressive Promised Land Prophetic Word Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Rebuild America Red Cup Refrain Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revealing Darkness Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Say His name Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening Second Kings See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Soak Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solemn Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spirits Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Checkup Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Such a Time As This Supreme Court ruling Surrender Swim Upstream Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Tenacity Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Depot Podcast The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Tim Gill Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Upstream Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wine Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Words Works Worry Creates Pause Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah 'Tis the Season abortion adoption america anger authenticity author baby names blessing blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children christians conversation crystal buck culture issues culture war culture densensitization depression divorce don't scroll don\'t scroll don\\\'t scroll east everlasting faithandforgive.com faithandforgive.org faithandforgiveness.org family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgivegod.org forgiveness forgive four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks god's approval governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heart condition heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer legalism lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed myhopeamerica.org nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution posture prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness sharethemessage.org spiritual health spiritual maturity spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus students thanks the Bible the Seed the depot podcast with erin olson the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust truth unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting watch why is it so hard to be a christian today? widow's oil workplace ministry