Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.
(Psalm 29:2, NIV)
What makes Jesus applaud?
Wednesday, August 12, at the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Awards Ceremony in Portland, I had the privilege of winning three awards. But it’s not the accolades I’m hopping up and down for. Rather it’s what the experience showed me about Jesus’ Applause-O-Meter for you and me.
Rewind a few days. Over dinners with the family, a few times I shared this thought: I don’t care if I win an award. My identity in Christ is a sure thing.
So I was taken by surprise to win three awards. The first was an article in the Articles, Columns, and Blog Posts category, called Persevere and Find Your Gifts. The second was Sojourners in the Poetry category. And then a third: Marilyn Rhoads, gifted program officer and vice-president for OCW, presented me with the Writer of Promise Award for being a successful writer, getting 75 articles published in four years, and teaching and encouraging those around me.
Want to see the needle on Jesus’ applause-o-meter bounce as He claps for you? Consider these:
- Point to Christ as Divine Source. As you and I connect the world with the freedom found in Him, ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name (Psalm 29:2). I kind of choked up in the middle of my acceptance speech. The tears were the good kind, when, in a holy moment, the presence of God crept up and overtook me. I mentioned this verse and led applause for our Savior.
- Pray as a Team. A loyal prayer team of 30 faithfully intercedes for me behind the scenes. No meaningful accomplishments can be completed alone. If you don’t have a prayer team, get one! Three cheers for you guys who prayed and encouraged me along the way. Look what we did. (If you’d like to join the team, email me.)
- Celebrate the trophy of friendships. Victory is found in friendships we make along the way in hugs, smiles, warfare on the muddy battlefield, and quick affirmation-emails and texts. If you’re reading this, I celebrate you! Nothing significant happens outside of relationship.
- Fix your gaze on Him. Am I happy to win the awards? Certainly. But if you take away the applause, certificates, and trophy, I’m still the same old Lynn Hare. I sweep pine cones off the driveway. I scrape lettuce from between my teeth (except that time when an agent snapped my picture with his smartphone before I sheepishly checked a mirror). I still get articles rejected.
Do I boast, “I’m more important—these awards prove it”? Nope. My identity’s found in something much simpler: the person of Jesus Christ. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God (1 John 3:1). Jesus is our Bro. The Author and Perfecter of our faith. We write for Him as He writes our stories for us.
Sometimes Christ is there in quiet whispers. But He’s in the middle of appreciative applause, too. However He reveals Himself, He cheers us all on 24/7.
Friend, I believe in you. I stand with you and applaud your journey with Christ, no matter how much or little recognition your work gets.
What is Jesus applauding you for right now?