First of all, sorry for leaving you all in the lurch last month with no journal plan introduction and no Wednesday’s words. I have been in a valley, desert, wilderness... whatever you want to call it, a space. It’s part of the reason I took August off from social media and from writing regularly. I thought I’d just bounce back into action but that proved a little more difficult than I thought. For the record, I’m ok, my family is ok, I’m just in it, as they say.
One thing that has been very encouraging is looking in the word at the generosity of God. Seeing that his heart towards us is generous beyond our comprehension. I first started to see it when we were journaling about him as Judge, did you see it too? How often our coming judgement was meant to spur us on to holy living because of the reward he is holding for us. I kept seeing that all of this dying to self, all this cultivation of the fruits of the Spirit, all the work of sanctification is not just to get us ready for heaven (although it certainly is) but it is also to get us ready to receive our heavenly reward. Like when my kids were little and I would tell them there was a prize waiting if they picked up their toys. They might not know what the prize was but they knew if I said it it was worth it, so get to cleaning they did. This is God’s heart towards us as he speaks throughout the Bible about holy and pure living.
But this is also what partially landed me in a bit of a funk. As I journaled about the coming judgement I began to be overwhelmed by my remaining sin. At times it felt like it was all I could see, and the enemy likes it that way frankly. It makes me pretty ineffective, case in point, no writing last month. Round and round it goes - feel crummy, don’t write; don’t write, feel crummy, like a cat chasing it’s tail and never quite catching it.
BUT, I was reminded of something a week or so ago. One of the most tried and true ways out of a funk is GRATITUDE! And here at Lettering His Love we have a tradition of spending the month of November on that very topic.
Most people who know me well would say I’m traditional, look at my house, look at my wardrobe, I was doing grand millennial style before that was even a thing. We called it preppy, whatever, I’ve been one my whole life. Today the word has lots of negative connotations and that’s too bad because the way I see it, traditions are anchors. They hold in place that which is most important to us. They are seasonal and cyclical and meant to remind us of what has gone before and what is to come.
And what I’ve seen in my own wilderness season is that they are like the pillar of fire or the cloud, they lead the way through. Regardless of what is happening in my life, the seasons come and go, the holidays too, and the Sabbath is there each week saying, “walk this way.” Sometimes that’s all you need to hear in order to keep going, “walk this way...”
My heartfelt prayer is that you will take the time to practice gratitude this month. That you will allow it to point the way through the noise of culture to the God who is for you, who loves you, and who intends to guide you safely home for eternity.