A Nativity Meditation for Writers

Writing is hard. Maybe you knew that already.

And writing for publication is hard. That’s probably not news to you either.

For the Christian writer, in particular, the writing-for-publication and building-a-platform and waiting-and-hoping-for-your-first (or next)-book-contract journey often seems even harder. There are so many twists and turns to navigate. So much change happening. And always, always, so much to learn.

But there’s a timely lesson for the Christian writer in an oft-overlooked and easily-passed-by verse in Luke’s Gospel account of Jesus’ nativity. Luke 2:6 says, “And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth” (Luke 2:6, ESV).

The time came. Of course. We know that. But can you imagine the wait? After all, Mary knew this was no ordinary pregnancy, as it had been no ordinary conception. And presumably the delivery would be different too. It had to have been agonizing, even more so than for other women and other babies, to wait for the time to come. But at long last, “the time came for her to give birth.”

Those who write for publication often get impatient for the time to come when we finally get the byline we crave. Or the agent we’d like to have. Or the book contract we want, sales numbers we’d like, or speaking gigs we’d enjoy. We wait. And write. And hope and pray.

It is, as I’m fond of saying (to adapt Nietzsche’s words), a long obedience in an uphill direction.

But, like Mary, the Christian who is a writer can look prayerfully forward and obediently work toward his or her moment. That moment when it will be said, “The time came for her to be published.” Or “for him to get a book deal.” Or “become as rich and famous as Steve Laube” (oh ye of little faith).

And, as it was in Mary’s case, you have a loving, sovereign heavenly Father who knows if and when that time will come for you. He knows when you’ll be ready. When your writing will be ready. When the world will be ready. And he is more than capable of getting you and your writing to that Bethlehem moment.

19 Responses to A Nativity Meditation for Writers

  1. Pam Halter December 23, 2021 at 5:15 am #

    It’s good to wait on the Lord … but sometimes, it’s hard.

    Years ago, my friend told me she was so tired of published authors saying her novel would be accepted and published at the exact right time. She wanted it NOW.

    But when her first novel finally came out and she held it in her hands, she said, “I’ll be darned. They were right. It really couldn’t have happened any earlier.”

    I held that in my heart until MY first novel came out. And I thought the same thing she did.

    Thanks for the reminder, Bob! Merry Christmas!

    • Sylvia Young December 23, 2021 at 9:12 am #

      This is a timely word. I’ve only been querying since August, but I was unprepared for the waiting aspect of being a writer. Thank you for reminding me that things will happen according to His plan.
      After all, I’m writing for Him, so I should trust that He knows the right time!
      Merry Christmas!

  2. Leigh DeLozier December 23, 2021 at 6:43 am #

    Thank you, Bob, for reminding us how important waiting is, especially during these last days of the “Christmas crunch.”

    It’s so easy to want everything now and either get frustrated or begin to doubt what we believed God called us to do when things take longer than we’d like.

    I need to go into the New Year with that fresh mindset: I do the work. God does the rest.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Jessica Hurlbut December 23, 2021 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you for your wise words.

      “…the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it’s full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

      James 1:2-4

  3. Kristi Holl December 23, 2021 at 6:59 am #

    Amen and amen! This is a meditation for all year round. Sometimes we are waiting on God, sometimes He is waiting on us, and sometimes He is waiting on others to be in alignment. This is such a good reminder to wait in anticipation. Thank you!

  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser December 23, 2021 at 7:00 am #

    I waited for tomorrow,
    my shot at wealth and fame,
    but to my ego’s sorrow,
    tomorrow never came.
    I waited for the sun to rise,
    and in it, my reflection,
    but to my discomfit surprise,
    God gave me new direction,
    a path that led through poetry,
    an homage to the Bard,
    a witness that I’d give for free
    on this journey through the hard
    days on which dark cancer shone,
    a witness that I’m not alone.

    • Sylvia Young December 23, 2021 at 9:13 am #

      This is a timely word. I’ve only been querying since August, but I was unprepared for the waiting aspect of being a writer. Thank you for reminding me that things will happen according to His plan.
      After all, I’m writing for Him, so I should trust that He knows the right time!
      Merry Christmas!

  5. Alice Myers December 23, 2021 at 8:43 am #

    Thank you, I needed this as I wait and wait to hear from a publisher.

  6. Janet Pierce December 23, 2021 at 9:09 am #

    All I can say is Amen and Lord grant me a long life to see my books comes to fruition and be published!

  7. Frank December 23, 2021 at 9:22 am #

    For those of us who are still on the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem, look up there is a star to guide you.

  8. Lisa Larsen Hill December 23, 2021 at 9:27 am #

    Thank you Steve for this encouraging message, as I just finished my first Biblical fiction. With excitement I venture on this next road with hope.

  9. Pat Butler December 23, 2021 at 10:04 am #

    This is a lovely bit of writing, Bob, with a shot of energizing encouragement. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to quote in a future newsletter to my people. Merry Christmas to you!

  10. Louise C Sedgwick December 23, 2021 at 11:19 am #

    Thank you. It is all about God’s sovereignty. We can trust Him. I am grateful for this fresh reminder.

  11. Deena Adams December 23, 2021 at 12:17 pm #

    I add my hearty amen to your words, Bob! In God’s time. Merry Christmas!

  12. Kristen Joy Wilks December 23, 2021 at 12:19 pm #

    Thank you, Bob. As I look back at 20 years of steady writing and submitting, I have to wonder if success is more simple than I imagined. A reader who laughs at my crazy chicken story, a parent who gains an understanding of what a week of camp means for their child, a camper who gets to remember their week because of a simple blog post that I shed tears over. I am hoping for a “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Perhaps that will look different than I imagine, but if I could but hear those words, the reality will be just as sweet as all of my imaginings.

  13. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D. December 23, 2021 at 12:52 pm #

    Thanks, Bob, for this reminder of the need for patience and for waiting upon the Lord’s perfect timing. Merry Christmas!

  14. Tiffany Price December 23, 2021 at 3:01 pm #

    Thank you for delving into this concept of waiting with great anticipation. As we sink into this advent season, it’s pertinent to see how waiting until “the time will come” applies directly to our writing. I’m thankful that I write for a God who will work all things out for His glory, in His perfect timing…including my publications.

  15. Tim Eichenbrenner December 23, 2021 at 3:56 pm #

    I love this post, Bob. God bless…and merry Christmas!

  16. Jide December 24, 2021 at 2:08 pm #

    Thank you for the Word. A comforting reminder that “The time does come” and it beautiful… In His time.

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