Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Journey Notes


photo property of Donna Oswalt

You'll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. Ecclesiastes 11:5b The Message

For the last seven years, I have consistently kept a devotional-prayer journal. It is small enough to easily take with me and fits inside a Bible. I do not necessarily write in it every day, but there are times I do. Scripture, random ideas, new words, and meanings of words often find their way to the pages. Excerpts from articles, books or commentaries that effect me are also written or attached within the pages. One thing I always put in my journal is my Scripture for the year ~ the one I believe the Holy Spirit has given me. There are pages flagged as prayer requests come to me; this reminds me and gives me a place to make notes of specific needs and outcomes. 


There is one unique entry I always include: on the first page of each notebook ~ I make note of a Scripture that defines where I am spiritually when I start the book ~ my journey note. I often discover this to be way the Spirit leads me during this phase of my journey with Him. Occasionally, I also write a quote or commentary that speaks to His Word. When the book is complete, when no more empty pages remain, I mark the front with the beginning and ending dates and begin another. Looking back I can always find a richness of God's teaching, wisdom and leading and a deeper understanding of my struggles, successes, and relationship with God. Sometimes, the very circumstances that brought me the most discomfort reveal my most intimate times of spiritual growth with God. 


My current journal note is this Scripture from Ecclesiastes and reflects a truth that our American, can-do attitude frequently challenges. We desire to be in control, even if only to know what comes nextMy nature is to explore and examine and reach conclusions. I like to understand how all the pieces fit together. The MacArthur Study Bible commentary on this verse gives great insight: 
"The world is full of things over which one has no control                              - including the purposes of God." 

So in the daily journey with the Father, we should be seeking His will and purpose in life, listening for His voice to lead, and knowing His compassion as peace. We must trust God with thankful hearts ~ thankful God loves unconditionally, and trusting Him to work all things into His perfect plan. Because try as I might, I will never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. ~ dho