This teacher always encouraged her students to take notes. Ok, I didn’t just encourage — I basically cajoled and badgered all my reluctant teenage scribes to put pen to paper. Why do you ask? Well, it’s a well-documented fact that we retain more information by manipulating it through writing, rehearsing orally, and interacting manually with ideas. Plus, if we write important facts down, we can review them later on down the road. Our mind just can’t hold on to all those concepts with depth and clarity for long.
In the Bible, God repeatedly commanded His people to create a written record of how He worked on their behalf so that they would not forget. In Exodus 17, the Amalekites were defeated as Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses in prayer. After the battle, God told Moses — you better write this one down.
Journaling allows us to
- contemplate His glory and goodness
- count our blessings
- confess our sins
- consider the day and reflect on how God works through the ordinary
- claim a promise from His Word
- contextualize and plan out a way to put His principles into practice
- cry out to God in prayer
- challenge ourselves to grow by setting goals
A couple of days ago, I pulled an old journal out of a box and skimmed through the pages. What I found surprised me — it was like visiting with a stranger. I had forgotten how God had quietly moved and spoken and worked in my heart during a very dark season. Now, years removed from my former self, I relived that season with new understanding through the written record. I saw how God had moved. I am thankful that I took note. God’s sweetness to me is too precious to let slip by.