Skip to main content

Journaling to Peace


            There is no better place to learn how to talk to God than in the Psalms of David.  God pointed David out to us as a man who had a heart for God.  As you read the Psalms of David, you are reading the very words spoken from the heart of David to the heart of God.  Though God’s communication is not directly written, the guidance He gave to David’s heart in the midst of his despair is clear.  Once David started his anguish regarding his present circumstances directly to God, who God really is became a reality in the midst of the storm.  He began painting a picture of where God is and who God is when his world was falling apart.  This is a great pattern for us.  The Psalms, more than any other book of the Bible, contain words that connect our hearts to God’s heart.

 You could look at the book of Psalms as personal journal excerpts David wrote during the most devastating circumstances of his life.  Psalm 57 is a perfect example.  David wrote these beautiful words that have been sung for centuries as part of worship services to guide souls from the darkness into the light.  David wrote poignant descriptions of the frightful circumstances in which he found himself.  Though he was anointed by Samuel, the last Judge of Israel, to become the future King of Israel, he was hiding in caves from the reigning King who wanted to kill him.  In his writing he demonstrates the spiritual discipline and spiritual transformation that come from journaling.

            I have been journaling for almost forty years.  This means I have shelves of scribbles containing God’s personal messages to me in writing that would not only be hard to decipher by a family member, but even to myself.  Yet, these journals are important because they contain the way God encourages me and transforms my soul from disinterest in His kingdom to focus on His will for each and every day.  It is the place I ask questions about the purpose of my life and receive comfort regularly, but rarely do I receive direct answers.  In a way, it is the place where God shows me the perspective He wants me to have on my present circumstances, just as He did for David.

Writing about the soul’s despair is healing in itself.  Here’s an example from Psalm 57:4, 6:  I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords… They spread a net for my feet— I was bowed down in distress.  They dug a pit in my path—but they have fallen into it themselves.

David wrote about his soul’s despair, and then remembered who God is in the midst of it all.  Writing and remembering God is what healed him. In the following verses he wrote:  My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  Awake, my soul!  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn (Psalm 57:7-8).

Before our very eyes we witness the healing that results from honest conversation with God.  God is big enough to hear our heart’s most appalling complaints.  He knows our finite minds cannot fully comprehend His answers, so He gives us His peace through remembering that He is God; He is with us; He cares about us; He will never leave us.  The miracle of peace results from journaling honestly from your heart to the heart of God.

Copyright ©2014.  Deborah R. Newman  All Rights Reserved.


Popular posts from this blog

You Shall Not Be Overcome

I distinctly remember sending this quote by Julian of Norwich to a recently widowed friend of mine over ten years ago.  You will not be overcome.
God did not say you will not be troubled,
You will not be belaboured,
You will not be disquieted;
But God said, You will not be overcome.
The quote in one of my devotional books for July 23, which marks the day I became a widow myself is by the same author.  “One day God spoke to me and I heard these words, “you won’t be overcome.”  God wants us to pay attention to His words.  God wants us to be strong in our certainty in Him, always, both in good times and in bad.  The Lord loves us, and God so enjoys our company.  God loves being with us and wants us to love Him and enjoy being with Him and trust Him completely, and all will be well.”  As I write this six years since his death I can attest to the reality that all will be well.  God chose to bless me with a second marriage to a wonderful man who holds my hand through this hur…

The Worst

What is the worst thing you think could happen to you?  There are so many options in a fallen world that it is hard to consider the worst.  We try not to think about it.  We do think we are going through the worst thing when we lose a loved one, are betrayed by a friend or family, sent to prison, or become the victim of a crime.  You know the worst thing that has happened to you.  You can think of someone for whom you are grateful that what happened to that person didn’t happen to you.               The world is full of frightening and dreaded options of worst case scenarios.  When you read the Bible, it is not hard to decide what the worst thing that could happen in your lifetime would be.  The Bible makes it clear that the worst is that you do not believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and be saved.               That sounds like a Sunday School answer doesn’t it?  It doesn’t feel that bad to say “No Thank You” to God.  Many don’t even recognize the day that they to…

Repenting for My Worship

Psalm 51: 15-17 describes true worship: Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
               The Lenten Season shoves in our faces the reality of who God is.  He is the God who killed His Son to conquer death for the humans He had formed with His hands in love.  What kind of God does that?  What kind of God creates heavens and earths, all the while knowing that the inhabitants could turn on Him in an instant? He had the power to destroy everything He created, yet finds a way to allow all the inhabitants to have their own way, either to follow Him or follow their own will?  He is the GREAT I AM.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is worthy of all praise.  He created us to bring Him praise (Isaiah 43:21).  He declares that His Son is worthy of even higher prai…