Last week I went to my writers’ critique group with a chapter from the Bible study book I’m working on. Because we have a new member, I explained how the book was born from a need to find positive affirmations in the Word for negative thinking people (like myself.) I admitted to my group that because I think negatively on a daily basis, I’d slacked off on writing this work because I felt like it simply wouldn’t be “worthwhile” and probably wouldn’t have the impact I’d hoped.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
My friends know me, so they simply nodded and one member began reading my chapter out loud. As she read, I noticed her voice getting thinner and scratchier. I looked up. She was crying. She had to stop once to grab a tissue and dab at the tears rolling down her cheeks. She apologized and kept reading. She made it through my short chapter and another member said, “I think it has had an impact.”
Too often we start things but don’t finish them because we don’t see immediate results. Or, especially as writers, we think that if we don’t sell massive amounts of our books, that we haven’t had any kind of impact on the world with our writing.
This one meeting showed me that my writing does have impact – even if it’s only to one person.
After the meeting, the member who read my work spoke up about why she had cried. She had recently met a young girl who was in an unsafe home. She only knew the girl through the internet, and she lived far away, so my friend couldn’t do much for her except pray and send encouraging words and scripture. We all promised to pray.
As we left the meeting, I caught up to my friend to give her a hug. “It’s amazing that God has placed you in this situation,” I told her. “He knows that just one person might change the trajectory of that girl’s life. Don’t give up.” She agreed, but was worried she was not strong enough or powerful enough to make a difference. When we parted, I promised to pray for this girl and my friend.
You see, when we pray for someone, offer a bit of encouragement, or even write about hard things, we’re making a difference. God knows that even the tiniest mustard seed can make a huge difference. This young lady in a foreign country now has at least five people praying for her. I believe this will start a chain of events for this girl. I believe God has a plan for this situation. And I believe that our group might not have heard about this situation had I not stepped out in faith to share my own story with the group. (This was our last story of the evening. And my friend was the only one who hadn’t yet read. Coincidence? I think not.)
It’s all connected, don’t you see? We are all one body in Christ.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. (Romans 12:4-12 NLT)
So, let me implore you, too, to pray for this girl in this unsafe situation. Pray for your neighbors and others, too. Write that thing you’ve been meaning to write. Connect with that person on social media. Step out in your faith to do something you don’t think is worthwhile or significant. God has a plan and the first step in His plan, might be for you to actually take the first step.
You are important. You are worthwhile. God does love you. He will facilitate change for His glory.
God bless and Happy Friday!