I have been keeping a diary since I could write in full sentences. Even though it was a Hello Kitty one with a lock, I was certain it was the perfect place to document all of my deepest thoughts and dreams.
As I got older and began to have regular times of personal prayer and Bible study, journaling became my preferred outlet for writing down prayers, lessons I was learning, Scriptures that had ministered to me, and important events in my life. Over the years, I have accumulated several boxes of journals which I have dutifully lugged from house to house each time I’ve moved.
My husband, on the other hand, is more of an in-frequent journaler, but still makes it a habit to write down all the wonderful things God has done in his life in a yearly summary on his birthday. Whether you love or hate to write, there are some great reasons to take time periodically to reflect upon and document the works of God in your life.
1) We are Prone to Forget – I often have a hard time remembering what happened yesterday, much less last year. And it seems that this is a common human dilemma. Psalm 106 speaks of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and their prompt forgetfulness:
“He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry, and he led them through the deep as through a desert….But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for His counsel.” – Psalm 106:9, 13
It’s proven that when we write things down, we are more likely to remember them. We make a choice to remember lest we forget. It’s really that simple.
2) To Increase our Faith in God – In Psalm 77, the psalmist writes with despair about his current circumstances, wondering if “God has forgotten to be gracious?” or if “His steadfast love has forever ceased?”
He turns from despair to hope through remembering, “Then I said, I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” – Psalm 77:10-11
When we write down and remember how God has delivered and helped us in this past, we have faith that He will help us through our current difficulties as well.
3) For Generations to Come – Some day when I am gone (or maybe before, if they find them!) my girls will likely sit down on a rainy day with a pot of coffee and read over my journals. They may laugh or cry or both – and they will remember me. They will even be able to know me as a young girl – my thoughts, struggles, and prayers to God at 13, 16, or 19 years of age.
When we document what God has done in our life and share it with our children as well, we pass on a legacy of faith – a testimonial that remains alive through the decades of the active work of God in our lives.
So, how about investing in a journal, picking up a pen, and let your thoughts flow? Who knows whether 30, 60, or even 100 years from now, your grandchild will pick it up, read it, and say, “What God did for Grandma, He can do for me, too.”