Opening my journal to you is scary business. It is cracking the door to my heart. Peer in and you will find that my heart is not always in a stable state. Today I am going to take that risk. I have David and the rest of the psalmists as my models for this. That moody bunch was not afraid to "tell it like it is." Such times may have revealed their frailty, but it also magnified God's glory. I hope to do the same.
Saturday night I went to bed intending to get a good night's sleep. Didn't happen! I awoke earlier than I hoped, but I have a rule on Sunday mornings: "No matter the hour, no matter how tired, get up when God gets you up." Early wake-up calls always mean there is more work to be done on the Sunday message. Yesterday was no exception.
I took a few moments to read God's Word, then opening my journal I penned these words:
Has been some frustrating days. I'm looking forward to putting pen to paper to celebrate with my lifelong refrain, "God came through," but right now I'm not feeling it on a few fronts: 1) It is 4:40 a.m. and I still don't have crystal clarity for today . . . that is frustrating! 2) Then disappointments abound . . . I'll leave it at that. I read this morning, "but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). "Great peace have those who love your law" (Psalm 119:165), "Peace I leave with you" (John 14:27), "You keep him in perfect peace" (Isaiah 26:3), "The fruit of the Spirit is peace" (Galatians 5). Lord, I am tired of living as a doubter. Many of my cohort will be coming today . . . feed them through me to your glory. SDG.
I know, that is not particularly eloquent, but then my journal is often disjointed. It is not a practice pad to improve my writing, but a safe place to share a little of my heart.
There's no need to analyze the disappointments I referenced either. I'm good. My marriage is great. Life is simply full of ups and downs as we all know and experience. Paul reminds me:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26
If the Spirit has to help me pray because I "do not know what to pray for as I ought" (so true in my life), then it stands to reason that I am going to have a scattered soul from time-to-time. God is bigger than that!
Back to my journal and the point in all this. I wrote, "I am looking forward to putting pen to paper to celebrate with my lifelong refrain, 'God came through.'"
I review my journals periodically. It is quite common to notice the agony of Sunday (over the state of my message) replaced with joy on Monday as I testify once more, "God came through." Those words begin my journal today.
I am living proof of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10). That strength is not my own. It is the gracious power of Christ resting on me (2 Corinthians 12:9). His grace and power rest on you too!
God is faithful.