Most of us have memories that fade with time. We don’t have the ability to recall all that God has done in our lives. I have found it most helpful to keep a journal. As I said previously, I am now on journal number 16.
In Psalm 78, the psalmist Asaph said, “Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”
Why keep a journal? What are the benefits of doing so? Here are some good reasons to write down your thoughts and internal conversations.
- A journal is an opportunity to keep track of your conversations with God, with Jesus, with your Heavenly Father. It is vitally important to pray to Him, converse with Him. He will speak to you from His Word. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice.” John 10 Pay attention to what He tells you. One of the most frequent things He says to me is, “Do not be afraid.” In keeping with Psalm 78 above, we should keep track of God’s wonderful works.
- A journal can also record your conversations with yourself. It is an opportunity to listen to what you are feeling, your emotions, and what you are thinking, what’s bothering you. I’m right-handed, but I got the idea of journaling with my left hand, which took more time, but I was able to access my right brain and memories. My wife, who read it, said that it was a totally new side of me. Just a side note: I keep my journals in a lock box.
- As you journal, you will see patterns of thinking. You will see things you’ve never seen before. It is an opportunity to connect the dots, to build a comprehensive story of your life, one that makes sense, as the Lord leads you to new discoveries about yourself, others and Him.
- A journal is also an opportunity to keep someone you trust in sync with you. I let my wife read my journal. She understands me better than anyone, besides Jesus. I also read portions of my journal to my counselor. It facilitates our conversation during the hour that we have together.