Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


The world's a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God-thoughts.
Nothing and no one comes close to you!
I start talking about you, telling what I know, and quickly run out of words.
Neither numbers nor words account for you.
(Psalm 40:4-5, MSG)

When I read the verses above, my thoughts jumped to the problem of writer's block.

These few short lines contain insight for several issues writers face.

Need inspiration? (One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a writer is "where do you get your ideas?")I even teach a class on brainstorming. "Go, observe what's going on around you." That's a great primer for story planners. David describes the world in similar (but again, so very poetic language), describing the world as a "stockpile" of God-wonders and God-thoughts. With that to draw from, we'll never run out of ideas.

In spite of the limitless subject matter, writers also "run out of words." I fight the blank page every day. Once I get started, I can write and write . . . and then I reach a point where I have run out of words.

In fact, I could use this verse to explain my problem in writing about the psalms, as I mentioned a few days ago. David said it all, so well. How can my words add any value?

And how can my human words begin to describe the transcendent God, His love for me, for His world?

Of course my books don't have a single character (God) nor do they speak from God's Point of View. Probably yours don't either. But they are about God, in that He invades the stories, breathes life into them. When they work well, they show how real people, faced with impossible problems, live by faith in spite of their circumstances.

And that's why Christian authors are unlikely to run out of story ideas. A scientist's numbers and an author's words can't account for God. We can't write a character sketch about God.

But we will never run out of things to say (even when it's a struggle to get them out.)

Today's favorite verse: God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer. (Psalm 41:8, MSG)

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