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.

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