The Compression Chamber

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. (DEUTERONOMY 8:2, NLT)

Recently I heard an awesome sermon about the definition of a wilderness experience. The minister shared that a wilderness experience consists of three parts: Entering the wilderness, experiencing the wilderness, and exiting the wilderness. This week, I would like to focus my devotional on the second point: Experiencing the wilderness.

As part of our journey to become Christian writers, each of us will find ourselves in a wilderness experience. Ethel Herr defines this experience as the compression chamber in her book, An Introduction to Christian Writing. The compression chamber is the time when God purges, tests, humbles and prepares us for the ministries he has for us as Christian writers. Ms. Herr shares that this time of heavy compression is “the time when our best writing will occur because it is highly therapeutic to record our deepest innermost feelings.” However, she also states that although “we think our intense and deepest feelings are ready to be shared with others, such writing has value only for the writer himself. The spontaneous jottings we glean from the compression chamber belong in a journal and are not ready to be shared with the world.”

When is the right time for you to publish and share the insights you have gained from your compression chamber? When you are free from its crushing effects. Only then will you be ready to write the experiences you have gained from an objective point of view.

Sharing the journey,


Writer’s prayer: Lord, thank you for the insights received while in the compression chamber. May I jot down every one so I will be ready, when the time is right, to share them with the world. Amen.

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