This week I was looking through my collection of quotes (I do love them!), and was moved by a poem I had copied down, written by George Herbert, a 17th century Welsh-born poet and Anglican priest. Just so you know, he is recognized as “one of the foremost British devotional lyricists”. A very wise man! Anyway, here is what I copied in my little book:
“Of all the creatures both in sea and land,
only to man Thou hast made known Thy ways,
and put the pen alone into his hand
and made him secretary of Thy praise.”
Think about that for a moment. Of everything God has made, we humans alone have received His word, His story, so that we can know Him in a totally different way than the rest of creation. I was a secretary all of my professional life, and so this struck a chord in my heart. I am still a secretary!
Now, though, I take dictation from my Heavenly Father, and do my best to be accurate in transcribing it! A secretary of His praise. What an honor! A record keeper, one who is allowed into the inner sanctum of the holy place, to hear, in order to share, in a way, the desire of His heart. I used to be so proud of my position, sitting in the place of secretary to the president. I made my position my identity.
So, as I pondered these words of an ancient poet I was brought to a place of joyful thanksgiving, delighted to realize that now my identity is still my position…the only difference is that now my position is kneeling before Him in gratitude because I am His beloved child. Yes, I will work for Him. Yes, I will transcribe His words to my heart…guess what? He can’t fire me! This position is forever and ever, and I pray that from the pen He placed in my hand I will bring glory to Him.
When I first began writing, from a heart that was slowly healing, I found this instruction in the book of Jeremiah 30:2, “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying, ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words I have spoken to you.'” I took it literally! So, here’s the best news! You all, too, are made secretaries of His praise! Doesn’t that inspire you? Think about it. There is a pen in your hand, as well; how will you use it? I’m not saying that we all must write a literal book, but we are all writing our story, one way or another, and we are all part of God’s story, with a place in that story just for us. We are so privileged to be able to know Him, hear from Him, read His words to us, and we shouldn’t take our job lightly. I hope this challenges your heart, as it has mine.