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

Moving Forward

It’s been half a decade since my husband of 27.5 years died suddenly of a brain bleed.  My life turned upside down that weekend, and nothing will ever be the same.  Someone commented to me that I had moved-on.  It was meant to be a compliment, and I totally get the affirmation that was intended.  The truth is I have not moved-on, nor do I ever expect that I will.  I love this quote sent to me in a sympathy card and have shared it over and over with others.  St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: I can never lose one whom I have loved unto the end; one to whom my soul cleaves so firmly that it can never be separated does not go away but only goes before.               Grief should have a beginning, middle and end; that is true.  That first year or two I would have done anything to diminish my pain.  I was in so much pain that I wasn’t even a person.  It’s hard to believe that we humans will naturally grow more comfortable existing in our pit of despair of grief than to let it go…

Thank You Dad

Recently I have been contemplating why it is ingrained in me that I must be quiet and respectful and look at the flag when the national anthem is played.  It’s as natural for me as standing for the Hallelujah Chorus during Handel’s Messiah or for the Bride when she walks through the back door.  Like a Pavlov dog, my instincts go into action, and I do not even think about my somewhat conditioned response. Why?  It was definitely my own father who had the most influence over me regarding the national anthem.  I am not a sports enthusiast.  However, from a young age I found myself at sports games because my older brother played every sport offered.  Our family faithfully attended those games, which normally started with the national anthem.  I found a way to enjoy the otherwise agonizing experience of being held prisoner to my brother’s sporting events by gravitating to my friends who were there under duress as well.  We made up games of our own; we would laugh and talk throughout the q…

Traveling Through

I am writing this week’s Tea Time devotion from the airport in Houston, Texas.  When I set out my travel plans months earlier, I never expected to use the Houston International airport at all.  I’ve been here two times in the last three days, and the last time it was for about six hours due to weather at my destination!  In fact, for the last four days I have been traveling back and forth from two different Central American countries, and only one of my four days of flying proceeded as planned.  I’ve had a lot of time to ponder airline practices; and I can come up with a multitude of suggestions for what they could do better, but that is not my job.  The long, strenuous, and unexpected travel has driven home the instructions Peter gives to Christians in his two letters:But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:15-16) So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every ef…