Last night, the book launch. The cheer and frenzy and lights and hype. The accolades.

This morning, the silence. The blank computer screen, the absence of checklists. I had time to notice the sunshine.

Three successful book projects had just been published, each, with their respective Christian authors, having gone through months of work. And I, their editor, had gone along and lived for months consumed by the vast branching array of details that make up a book—What is the source for footnote number seventy-seven? Has the third endorser written back to confirm his position? Do we need permission to use this song? Have I checked the running heads?

Did I check them properly? And how sure am I that that is the source for footnote number seventy-seven?

I had loved it all.

Time hadn’t just flown; it had sped by—I had been in bliss, immersed in words, immersed in work—fixing, thinking, planning, writing. And then the launch, the sales, the noise—and then. Today.

The books were finished. My hands felt empty.

You love your work, the Lord told me, on that still, silent morning. That is why I gave it to you. But that is not the most important reason.

There are so many “most important reasons.” In fact, I will never know how many. One is the man sitting beside a hospital bed, grieving the loss of his wife. Another is the young woman struggling with fear and loneliness, dreading the prospect of another day. Yet another is the elderly grandfather who has never known peace—but who will, once he has picked up a certain book whose words would lead him to the Living Word.

It’s all for the sake of the Gospel, the Lord reminded me. It’s all for Me.

That morning, my hands were empty. But my heart became full.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19–20a)

Lord, in my work, You are my meaning, my strength, and my joy. Help me to work by and for Your Name alone.

Karen Huang is a writer for various print media publications. She also does editorial work for OMF Literature Inc. When not writing and editing, Karen teaches essay-writing and creative writing to high school and college students. She is also the proud aunt of Sabina, Selena, and Caleb.

This article was an entry in our LittWorld 2015 Devotional Writing Contest.

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