2017-12-08 Risk/Reward of Journaling

Good Morning!

I had mentioned journaling yesterday. I actually tried it last night. Well, I didn’t actually write anything. I tried to prepare to write something. I found myself a little stuck. While I process much of my life on these pages, for all to see, there is much that doesn’t get covered. Just to clarify, I’m not looking at it to be a weather journal or something I keep track of my daily activities. I’m looking to it to sort through my life’s problems so that I may better present my thanksgiving and petition to the Lord.

That is going to take more effort than I thought. Let’s say I’m mad about something (I actually am.). The next question is why. The answer that counts isn’t because s/he did this or that. The productive answer is because I was disappointed/hurt. Then there’s the next question. Why? This seems to go on for some time until the core of the issue is revealed. And that’s a place that isn’t very comfortable. I suppose it really must be someplace I need to go if I’m going to be honest with myself and God. How can I petition him in my time of need if I won’t be honest about what that need is?

What really stinks is that my troubles involve other people. I can go through all this mental/emotional exercise (turmoil) to try solving a problem with the likelihood that the other person/people did not or will not go as deep into it as I did. The stark reality is that the other party probably doesn’t even want to and may even mock me because of it. Why, then, should I even bother?

I think I have to stay grounded on this simple fact: the only relationship that truly matters is the one between Jesus and me. I think we see this in the seemingly strange prayer that David offered during his whole ordeal with Bathsheba:

Psalm 51:3-4 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgement.

Certainly, our difficulties with others are NOT always because we have sinned. My point here is that David went to God directly as if no one else were involved. I would think that he had plenty of conversations with Bathsheba. I don’t recall any record of David trying to make things right, unless you count him marrying her as making amends. Plus, we see great turmoil in his home that many preachers say could have been avoided had he exercised his parental obligations. Even so, God made it clear that David was a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). So, we see the importance of baring our hearts to God, one-on-one.

I guess, in the end, I can’t change anybody with journaling, but it can change me. I like to think that I am strong; and in many regards, I suppose that I am. However, I do have some areas I don’t like to go, ones that I prefer to recognize only as being mad about rather than hurt. Some of these are old wounds, some are new. Perhaps these wounds will heal better by getting closer to Jesus through journaling. Perhaps the process with help me understand so I don’t repeat mistakes I’ve made in the past. Perhaps it will allow me to be more open and honest with others and improve our relationships. Some may indeed intentionally hurt me because of it. This world is broken, so I can assume there will be pain. But, if I am looking at Jesus, none of that should truly matter.

Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You know, the thought just hit me. I can benefit greatly with my troubles by going deep into journaling. That’s true. Couldn’t I also enjoy the same benefit if I dive deep regarding my blessings?

Father, I am simply amazed how your words are always true.

Lamentations 3:22-24 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

That’s me today, Lord. Amen.

Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers

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