Hello, you. I’m writing this devotional specifically for my fifty-two BFFs (the launch team that will help me promote Miriam when it comes out in March), but I have written it with you also in mind. Yes, you.
I have prayed for you—whether you are a member of my BFF team or not. If you’re reading this, our God knows your name and He knows you’ve been on my heart.
You see, during the past week, I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed by the constant demands of this busy life, and in the midst of it, the Lord reminded me that everyone—each, individual person—cries out to Him with their own life concerns. So I began praying for others who might be feeling the same overwhelmed-ness I was feeling.
Then it dawned on me that some might be enjoying a season of peace and joy, so I began rejoicing with them—with you, individually.
The realization that every single person I see has a relationship with God—either broken or in process—has changed the way I interact with those around me. The guy who cuts me off in traffic might have just signed divorce papers. I can give him grace. The all-too-bubbly barista at the coffee shop might have just gotten engaged. Why should I ruin her day by being a grump?
We know in our heads that we are to be the light of the world, right?
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
But sometimes—gut-level confession here—I need more motivation than “because the Bible says so.” I need to feel it in my bones. How can I be kind, generous, and forgiving when all I want to do is crawl in a hole and hide from my overwhelming responsibilities?
Learning To See
The simple answer is: I must learn to view each person as an individual life, important to God. Yes, this includes the two-year-old that just wrote on your wall with a Sharpie. He/She is learning the authority of a loving God through your love and discipline (no pressure). It includes your husband or wife, your boss, your pastor (who, BTW, is also not perfect in his/her relationship with God). When we begin to see every person as in process in their relationship with Jesus, our whole perception of them changes, and our respect for them rises—because they are God’s own.
How does this concept relate to my BFF team? A couple of months ago, I volunteered to participate on my friend Jill Eileen Smith’s launch team for her February 4th release, The Prophetess. My reasons for volunteering were twofold: 1) I wanted to help my friend, and 2) the more selfish motive…I wanted to see the nuts ‘n’ bolts of her launch. I respect Jill as an author and felt I could learn from her.
The book arrived during an extraordinarily busy season for me, and instead of the excitement I wanted to feel, I felt the pressure and dread of another deadline. Jill, being the gracious woman she is, never placed heavy demands on the team, but I wanted to participate because I love her writing and I love to spread the word about biblical fiction in general!
The irony settled into my spirit as I forced myself into my daily quiet time one morning. Every member on MY BFF team has a busy life, and many may feel the same pressure and dread I felt. They’ll be excited to receive Miriam when it arrives, but it will be a sacrifice of time and energy to set aside hours of their life to read it.
And not just my BFF team. Those of you reading this post have set aside time in your busy day to read these words. Many of you will do the same when Miriam comes out in March. You’ll purchase it, wait for the mail, and spend hours of your valuable time reading it. I am humbled and grateful for your sacrifice.
Realizing others may be as overwhelmed as I am hasn’t lightened my to-do list. Praying for each individual as they cross my path has helped with my perspective, but the truth is, I needed strength to accomplish all that’s being required of me–physical, emotional, and spiritual. How about you?
As is often the case, the Lord answered my need through His Word, promising me HIS strength as ample supply for all my needs.
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
It’s all about focus. My eyes on Him and others. Let it be so, Lord. Let it be so.