September 19, 2007
Let This Be Written
“Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the LORD …” Psalm 102:18 (NIV)
Some people say writers are born to be writers … that you can tell them apart at an early age because they are always writing. Some writers tell about scribbling their thoughts late into the night in a little journal, or keeping a diary. They say they need to write or they will surely fade away. I guess that’s true for some, but certainly not the case for every writer.
Take me for example. I love to write now, but when I was young I was too busy to sit and write. I was organizing clubs (with me as president), starting group games (like hide and seek), or directing neighborhood plays. No diary for me. Plus, my self-preservation was intact at an early age. Even as a child I worried, what if someone found my diary?
Once in school, however, I discovered I loved the writing assignments, like research papers or book reports. In college I majored in journalism and public relations. I wrote newspaper articles, brochure copy and put together many newsletters. What I discovered about myself is I care more about conveying a message, than the act of writing. So if I listened to those who said a writer feels they must “write or die,” I would have disqualified myself as an author years ago. And I wonder how many men and women have disqualified themselves as writers because of what someone else has said to them? How many stories haven’t been passed on to future generations because of this?
Writing is important. Writing clarifies our thoughts, conveys a message and creates something lasting. Today we treasure the records we have from earlier generations. We learn things from history that can positively affect our future. Writing teaches us and can provide insight into deep truths. For a Christian, however, writing takes on an additional significance. Writing becomes a way to glorify God.
King David of the Old Testament knew this well. The book of Psalms is a magnificent testimony to God’s power and righteousness, and we have David to thank for writing much of it down. David was an honest writer who poured out his pain and fear through His writing, yet He also records much about the character and actions of God. We know God better through David’s writing. I think David wasn’t just writing for himself. I think David’s heart was to attempt to capture the awesome nature of His God in words so that others would love and obey Him as well. Psalm 102:18 is our clue to David’s heart: “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD …”
What an amazing purpose of writing … that sometime in the future, some man or woman not yet born would read our writing and praise God because of it. What an encouragement to start writing down stories of God’s faithfulness to our family, of how He answered prayers, and of the daily miracles of life. Today, we have many avenues to capture stories of God’s work. We can start a blog, scrapbook, or even self-publish a book. It doesn’t matter how we record our experience with God, just that we do it.
Years ago a wise woman told a group of writers and speakers, “It’s not your story; it’s God’s story.” Yes, my story is important. But as a Christian, it’s my deepest hope that it always points others to God. Start writing and keep writing … so that “a people not yet created may praise the Lord.”
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your goodness and righteousness. I thank You that through Your Holy Spirit, You inspired the writing of the Scriptures. Through this writing, I am learning to know You and trust You in greater ways. Help me to write more about who You are and what You are doing in my life, so that my children, grandchildren and beyond, will love You and praise You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For the Write Reason, Editor Marybeth Whalen
The Little Style Guide to Great Christian Writing and Publishing by Leonard and Carolyn Goss
If you don’t already have a journal, make or purchase one. Commit for 30 days to write something in it every day about God. This could be something you thank God for or how you have seen Him revealed in your life or the lives of others that day.
Name one way the writing of another person has changed your life?
What is one of characteristic of God you have learned from reading the Bible?
If you were going to write a story about one thing God has done in your life, what would it be?
Exodus 34:27-28, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with
Jeremiah 30: 1-2, “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.’” (NIV)
Isaiah 49:16a, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105