I’m not the best journaler you’ve ever met. Honestly, one of the main reasons I do it is because it’s something I can do half asleep, waiting for the coffee to course through my veins, so I can be more alert for the really important things like reading my Bible and praying. So my entries are usually brief and barely articulate at best. But they are helpful to assist me in remembering. My great-grandpa warned me that the older you get the faster time seems to fly. Well, at thirty-seven, I’m getting a glimpse of what he meant. I can hardly separate what happened when anymore because it all seems to be going so fast. I find myself asking Matt, “Which of our kids used to say_______?” Even those details I thought would be etched in my mind forever are much harder to retrieve these days. So it’s good for me to have a record of things like, “Funny how [Matt and I’ve] had two fights the week before our 10 year anniversary.” And then read what (more accurately Who) has faithfully helped us find joy and overcome the difficulties of marriage in a fallen world, “Please do not leave us to ourselves. We surely would perish [in our sin] if not for You. We cannot do without You!”
As I remember my thirty-sixth year by flipping through my journal entries, a few themes stand out to me:
1) My physical weakness – “Please help me each step of the way today! I need you every hour!” “Need grace to keep plugging along! Please help me!” “Please help us persevere!” “Still need your strength and help just as much as ever!” “Please help me walk with you today!” “We are always dependent and always in need of your sustaining grace to get us through.” “Have felt so flat energy-wise lately. Just exhausted by the end of the day.”
2) My spiritual weakness – “Please tune my heart to sing your praise and stand in awe of You!” “Please continue to work on my spirit to make it gentle and meek! I need You!” “Help me to be patient in serving and diligent in disciplining!” “Struggled yesterday with trusting You.” “I need to be more like [our missionary] Kara [Howell]. Her spirit of contentedness and flexibility and peace speaks to the testing of her faith that has brought [those things] about. Soften my edges, Lord!”
3) My God’s strength – “I just opened my Bible and thought, ‘I love this Book!’ It speaks to me of the love and grace I’ve experienced. It heals and restores. It gives life. It is all I need.” “You gave a good day yesterday in spite of my struggles with tiredness and self-doubt. Thank you!” “I have all that I need in Jesus to help me deal with a variety of life circumstances in a way that exalts Him.” “You answer prayer each day in such gracious ways. Thank you for providing help in my striving against sin.”
I must conclude after reflecting on this past year, there was never a day God left me alone in my weakness. I often admitted my weakness and sinfulness, sometimes out of humility, but sometimes I actually confessed my struggles because I was proud and needed the reminder that even when I didn’t feel like I needed Him, I still did. Sometimes, I was scared and wondered what a day would bring, and if by the end of the day my life would be completely different than it was when I woke up that morning. So I reminded myself of the security of walking with Sovereignty each step of the way each day. And even in the face of my on-going battles with sin, He never withdrew. He remained faithful to me showering me with assurances and love and forgiveness through His Word and His Spirit.
So, I must move forward in this new year of life boasting in my weaknesses. Because when I am weak, I am strong in all the strength He provides!