Enjoying the Journey
At the end of 2008 I decided that I would try to begin writing in a journal each day. I am sitting in my study tonight looking back through old journals. The Lord has been so very good to me. There have been difficult days, but these pages are filled with the faithfulness of God.
For me, writing in a journal each day has been the most helpful daily discipline I have ever followed, outside of prayer and the reading of God’s Word. David kept a journal. Read the Psalms. I have the journal of David Brainerd and George Muller. People keep a journal for different reasons, but there have been several benefits for me.
1. A journal helps me to put the prayers of my heart into words.
Sometimes I can write words that I cannot seem to speak. The heart often flows through the pen. God wrote His Word to me; I love the thought that I can write a few lines of love to Him.
2. A journal records answers to prayers.
I look back on days of great desperation, moments where I was driven to God alone. Then I turn the page and read the answer to prayer. Sometimes the answer is one page away; sometimes it is many days removed. Yet every time I see the record of answered prayer, it increases my faith – faith to believe God for more and pray again!
3. A journal forces me to think through what I am doing with my days.
Writing down highlights of each day causes you to reflect. When the day is done it is gone forever. We will never have it again. I must not waste a single one.
4. A journal develops discipline through daily practice.
I carry my journal with me on every trip. Some days it is very late before I have a moment to record anything. Many days the entry is brief. I have read that Christopher Columbus kept a journal of his explorations. Most days the only words recorded were: “We sailed on.” Some days that is all we are supposed to do! Ordinary days count for eternity too.
Writing something each day is a good and simple reminder of the power of a single day.
5. A journal teaches me to think and to write.
I don’t always write in my journal in complete sentences. As far as I know, no one else is reading it! But the habit of writing something every day has become a good thing for me personally.
6. A journal allows me to put on paper spiritual lessons that God is teaching me.
I don’t want to forget what the Lord is showing me about Himself and about myself. Having a record of these truths aids me in memory and meditation.
7. A journal maintains a record of God’s work.
Life is a grand adventure, especially if you are serving the Lord. It is good to record how God is at work in different people and in different places. Each day is full of divine appointments. These become a point of reference for the rest of life.
8. A journal releases my mind from so many thoughts.
Years ago I was taught that your mind works as your pencil moves. Usually I write in my journal at the end of the day. My mind is often racing, full of thoughts from a busy day. Writing down a few things allows me to think of other things, and prepares me to rest.
9. A journal keeps a written record of special times with family and friends.
The years go so quickly. The kids are growing up so fast. Times with certain family members and friends come too rarely. I want to remember the moments that God gives us together. Someday all we will have is memories.
10. A journal encourages me to think about tomorrow with hope.
There is always a blank page ahead. Someday God will write “the end” in my journal and the story will continue in the very presence of my Saviour. Until then, every day is a gift and a new beginning.
Every blot in my record, I put there. Every blessing in the story, He put there. I am keeping a journal, but He is keeping the true record and His book is accurate.
I am about to fill another journal and look forward to starting the next one…if God gives me that day. If you don’t write in a daily journal, try it for a month and see if it helps you as it has helped me.