Writing can sometimes be discouraging work. It may become even more discouraging when we’ve poured ourselves into our calling but no one seems to notice our efforts. Or maybe we’ve worked and worked . . . but someone else gets the break we’ve been waiting for.
As Christian writers, we serve to glorify the Lord. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16, NIV). The goal of our work is praise for the Father, not for ourselves.
Still, it’s natural to want someone to notice and acknowledge our efforts, especially if that someone is an agent or acquisitions editor. We all need encouragement. Certainly, the Bible exhorts us to encourage one another.
But the Lord knows our hearts. He knows our motivations. I’ve found that God will frequently allow periods of anonymity or discouragement in my life to reveal my motives. If I’m ready to give up because of a lack of recognition or appreciation, that tells me my motives have been all wrong.
It’s no accident that among the hundreds of named women in Scripture, there are also more than one hundred references to unnamed individual women or groups of women. Immortalized in Scripture for all time, yet virtually unknown, apart from being identified by their circumstances. It doesn’t seem quite fair.
Yet nothing escapes God’s notice. He knows who they are—each and every one of them. And He knows who we are, what we’re doing, and why we do it. Jesus told His followers, “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30, NIV). In Genesis 16, we read the story of how God amazed Hagar. Because He knew all about her, she called Him El Roi, the God Who Sees.
So the next time a lack of recognition or publication discourages you, there’s only one thing to do. Run straight into the arms of El Roi. Take comfort in knowing that the Lord sees all you do and will reward you.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, NIV). Let’s be faithful in doing our part and leave the results to God. Just as He did with the five loaves and two fish, He will multiply our meager efforts for His glory!
Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called. In addition to her writing, Ava teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300 women. She is a passionate speaker and teacher and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s Word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. Ava and Russ have been married for 40 years and live in southeast Florida. For more information, visit her at AvaWrites.com.