Why Do I Write, Even If I Wonder if Anyone's Reading?

What makes you think anyone would want to read anything you write? 

You think that’s original? Ann Voskamp’s already said it—better. And with pictures. 

Other bloggers write long posts about big issues. Who are you kidding? You’re not even in the same league. 

Have you ever had a morning when you were defeated before you even got out of bed? When the voices whispered so persistently you couldn’t even mount a protest? When you questioned your calling, your ministry, maybe even your existence? Any success you may have enjoyed in the past was just a colorless memory, like an old black and white newsreel, and the motivation to do the next thing just wasn’t there?

Times like these don’t come often to me, but on hormonal days when the sun doesn’t shine and my feelings are tender, they have the power to get me down. Like cockroaches too cowardly to come into the light, they scuttle along the baseboards of my mind hindering my progress and distorting my perspective.

Here in the South where Palmetto bugs are four inches long and big enough that we can hear their footsteps, we keep a can of Raid nearby at all times. Similarly, we should keep our spiritual insecticide within arms’ reach.

The insecticide for cockroach comments like the ones I listed above? The Word of God.

When I reached for it, the Word was alive and powerful. Like sitting down with an encouraging friend, my time in God’s Word was just what I needed to banish the dark clouds of doubt and discouragement.

As I read in The One Year Bible, I read the story of Elijah. A bold prophet who had stood up to evil King Ahab, called fire down from heaven, and slayed the evil prophets of Baal, Elijah was riding the wave of the miraculous. Convinced that the supernatural events he had witnessed would win over Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel, he was shocked to receive this message from the royal palace:

So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of (the prophets) by tomorrow about this time (1 Kings 19:2).

Frightened and confused, Elijah ran.

Far far away.

And prayed that he might die. 

 “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life . . .”

You know what God did? He didn’t scold him, nor did he pity him. He fed him. He granted him sleep. He listened to his complaints, and then, as only God can do, he reminded Elijah of three things:

1. I am God. 

2. You are not. 

3. You are not alone. 

Through a tornado-like wind, he showed Elijah his power. Through a ground-shattering earthquake, he demonstrated his control. Through a raging fire, he reminded Elijah of his judgment.

And then, in a still, small voice, he showed Elijah that he was quietly, sometimes imperceptibly, at work in Israel.

“You are not alone, Elijah,” God said. “There are 7,000 men whose knees haven’t bowed to Baal.”

“Now get up, dust yourself off and get going. I have work for you to do.” 

In January, my friend Jean emailed me:

“My dear friend who is in prison wrote me and said:

Each morning I start my day with three daily devotionals. Hungry for God, Starving for Time is unequivocally my favorite. When information is enveloped in narrative, I tend to remember what I’ve read. Lori’s antidotes are comedic, metaphorically graphic, and rich with a message universally relevant to a believer’s intent to incorporate God’s wisdom into their daily walk. Thank you so much for the book. It has had an impact already. I share it with Lorena (her cell mate) and she appreciates it equally.”

In February, my friend Debbie brought five copies of my book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, to Kenya. She gave one to Sister Freda, a brave, dedicated sister in Christ who has founded a preschool, clinic, a girls high school, and a nursing school.

In May, I received this email from Andrea, a young woman ministering to Navy wives in Japan through Cadence International:

I have been enjoying your devotional book. I think it is something the women could benefit from … Thank you for being willing to donate copies to our ministry. 

And recently I found these kind words in my Inbox from Sharon, a woman I met at one of my Praying with Power conferences who works with Women at the Well Ministries of PA:

My one new idea from your seminar was to pray first, and read the Bible second, looking for answers in my reading. It’s taking a while to get used to making this change, but I am gaining insight and answers from this switch. Yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks if they want to learn! 

I have especially enjoyed the two devotions that came out this week. The post on sex and violence spoke to my heart, and reconfirmed some of the limitations I place on things we read and watch. Thank you for your prayers and your ministry of encouragement. I look forward to another time when we can meet. In the meantime, keep writing those great devos! 

God, in his still, small voice, used Elijah and these women to remind me, 

He is God,

I am not, 

and I am not alone. 

Author/speaker Alton Gansky says this,

"When you write for God, and you really mean it . . . your work may never show up on the shelves of Lifeway. It may never find its way into bound print at all. But when you write for God, when you write with the heart of a servant . . . you may find that your words are only meant for the guy sitting next to you. If you can accept this . . . live with it . . . grasp it . . . then you can truly write for God."

Why do I write, even when I’m afraid no one’s reading? 

Because God has called me to.

What has God called you to? Are you questioning your calling, your ministry, perhaps even your existence? Struggling soul, be faithful, even when the voices cry loudly, no one appreciates you, and you want to quit. Press on. The harvest is coming.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).

 Hungry for God Starving for Time
You want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you.

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  1. Thanks, Lori, for the great post. These have been my feelings for the past few days. When I sit at the computer and nothing comes to me and I wonder what's the use nobody will read it anyway. You read my thoughts. I needed this reminder.

    1. I think it's something every person struggles with at one time or another. Perhaps writers are a little more vulnerable because we put so much of ourselves into our work. I'm so glad my post encouraged you. Write on, friend, it does matter!