Okay, I know there a lot of people who do not like to journal.
I also know there are some that might journal but fear that someone might uncover their deepest thoughts.
I try not to think about that last one otherwise, I wouldn’t journal or I would head outside now and start a bonfire.
Journals have been such a life line to me. They help me remember.
During my major office clean up, I landed on a few journals that I spent time perusing and what an eye-opening venture it was.
Several years ago, during a time of extreme weariness, I decided to write a list of everything hard that had occurred during those many years. I won’t list them here because it was a daunting list.
I won’t list it because I know so many of you have your own lists.
Your list may just have one item, but it is a big item.
This post is not about comparing lists or lots in life.
This post is about life.
It is also a post about the author of life.
My list did a few things. It gave me permission to be tired. It allowed me to take a deep breath. It allowed me to reflect on the faithfulness of God and others who carried me through many sleepless nights, panic attacks, years of no answers to the visible eye or inquisitive mind and just plain old fear.
I had it up to here with life.
I chose a life with God.
I am good with routine. In fact, I like it quite a lot. I like to know what to expect. I like to be in control.
Life can be altered in a moment. Our lives can have the appearance of one reality and suddenly the existence you knew and kind of liked is catapulted into another stratosphere where everyone seems to speak a different dialect and there is a new code of conduct.
This is a portion from my journal in the wee days of January 2008:
I was recently reading about surrender and submission. When we live with our palms up, we have the option of taking back our control. However, when we live with our palms down, we are laying down our claim to take back control.
I love this…I want to live this way…dying to self and being made alive in Christ.
My dad had to go into the hospital for a few days after fainting twice. Of course, this was such a tender time of waiting on the Lord and desiring not to reach back for fear but it was difficult. Thankfully he seems fine now but I see afresh that his previous health crisis has altered his current health. I also see how it has altered our minds and how easy it is to slip backward to the place of crisis.
Yet God you have been so faithful.
This was one of the items on my list. There was life and then there was a crisis that day by day created a new normal. One day that crisis came to a halt and life went back to normal or so it seemed.
There was now a fissure in normal life that divided past and present. A fracture that only God could repair and redeem.
There is no sense in pretending pain does not exist or the fact that the harshness of life takes a toll.
That is not surrender, that is called denial.
Our lives change but there is One that never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Hebrews 13: 8
I know in times of great need, it is easy for others to casually toss out scriptures with the aim of helping.
Hmmm, let’s see, this one fits! There you go…did it help?
But this one verse does fit.
These 9 words are a daily reality that trumps current reality.
These words whisper to us when life feels puddled at our feet.
Jesus is there to collect every spilled drop of our lives.
I remember times of feeling like the *psalmist that cried…
Even though the earth be removed,
though it waters roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake at its swelling…
There is God.
There is a God that is an EVER present help in times of trouble.
There is a God that is a refuge and infuses us with strength to continue to stand or sit or lie down.
He is the God that never changes even though.
He remains the same.
I don’t know what is on your list today.
I do know that God does even if you never write about it on paper.
I also know that He is tough enough to deal with any thought or emotion you have towards what comprises your list.
It may be hard to put your palms down today.
If so, then just extend those palms to Him.
He welcomes you.
He always has and He always will.
You see, life may have changed but He stayed.
He stayed the same.