© 2010 Andrea Merrell
Panic rose in my throat as we inched along the slippery, dimly lit path. The air was cool, but the oppression brought on by fear made it hard to breathe. My eyes focused on the ground to keep me from losing my footing. I prayed. I fought back tears. Just as I was about to get a grip on my emotions . . . the lights went out.
Claustrophobia and poor eyesight do not mix well in an underground cave. Instead of enjoying the tour, I battled my anxious thoughts. By the time we reached the exit, I released a long, slow breath and couldn’t wait to get to my computer to turn my “disaster” into a devotion.
Things happen every day that can be used to teach, encourage, and bless others. Has your toddler ever written on the wall with permanent markers? Has your toilet overflowed, creating a river of crud? On a deeper level, maybe you’ve experienced divorce, struggled with addiction, or agonized over prodigal children. How did you cope? What did you learn? What truth did God reveal to you that changed your life?
In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. He can take any situation, turn it around, and work it for good. You can do the same if you’re willing to open your heart, be transparent, and share your stories with the world. Be listening. Be ready. He may give you a scripture, a title, or just one word or thought. Be creative and put it on paper.
The technique used by ChristianDevotions.us is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4:
1. Hook: Capture your reader in the first few lines so they will want to read on. Ask a question, make a shocking statement, or say something funny.
2. Book: Present your point and interpretation of the scripture passage.
3. Look: Look at the big picture and give a practical application.
4. Took: Leave your reader with a takeaway. Challenge them, ask a question, or suggest an action (without being “preachy”).
Each devotional venue has specific guidelines and you should check them thoroughly. Word count is generally anywhere from 250-400 words. This parameter will help you strengthen and tighten your writing.
A devotion may be someone’s only Bible reading for the day. As writers, we can impact lives with a few well-written words. You have a story. Are you willing to share it?
Andrea Merrell is a freelance writer and editor, and lives in South Carolina. She is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministry and Copy Editor for DevoKids.com. For more information, visit her Web site at:www.andreamerrell.com.