How many people like to keep a diary or a journal? I remember having an old diary – a small book of my little secrets. So secretive, it was sealed with a lock and required the right key to open it and read what was inside. Many children, especially little girls, like to record their thoughts, feelings and activities as they encounter them while growing up.
I hold a deep treasure today: an old
diary I found of my mother’s after her death. In it I can read of her contemporaneous notes when World War II began or her teenage days with her sisters and their beaus. What precious memoirs these little books become – even for future generations to glean insights into their ancestors’ daily thoughts or fears.
Did you know we have an ancient diary recorded in the pages of the Bible?
You could say the whole of Scripture is an ancient diary – God’s own thoughts, feelings, desires and events He chose to record for all antiquity.
However, I am specifically drawn today to one account of a man of God who, Scripture says, chose to leave us a record, a travel log to be more specific. A journal of his own trip down “memory lane.” I’m speaking of Moses.
Numbers chapter 33 tells of Moses’ diary of his journeys with the children of Israel. In verse 2, we read “Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord...” (NKJV)
Moses jotted down the itinerary of all the places where God led them. I feel sure that with each city or town, it conjured memories for him of specific things from that place.
For instance, when he noted the time and day of their departure from Egypt, he remembered the grief experienced by the Egyptians who they watched burying their firstborn and the haste with which they made their flight. Later, I feel sure he remembered with anger or disgust their time at Marah and how the people had complained, yet God graciously granted them provision in spite of their grumblings.
Shortly thereafter, when he noted their coming to the Red Sea, he would recall the miraculous deliverance of the Lord by making a clear and solid path for them to walk through the sea on dry land.
Later, perhaps with sadness or anger, he wrote about their journey to Rephidim and how God miraculously provided the water for their thirst. His heart may have been heavy as he remembered their journey to Mount Hor, where his dear brother and comrade, Aaron, had died. Yet, God’s faithfulness lived on.
And now, as he concludes his travel log, he and the people stand on the precipice of the promise they believed and pursued for these long, hard years, following one Guide, their Faithful God. Perhaps it conjured up a silent praise as he remembered the faithfulness and graciousness of God throughout their forty-year sojourn.
As Moses stood there, knowing how close he was to finally reaching the destination of the entire journey, what joy must have filled his heart. And what encouragement he must have experienced, as he could now look back through his journal and see time after time where God was with them. God visited them. God spoke to them. God provided their needs. And, God led them all the way. They were never alone. Rather, they were always under God’s watchful eye and loving hand.
As I pondered this, I wondered if perhaps we too might want to think back and journal our own “diary with God.” Maybe a trip down “memory lane” might help us all. A look back at all the places God has brought us from. All the times He has led us. All the ways He has provided for us. I expect this will generate a new attitude of gratitude or a new supply of grace for our continued journey forward – or both!
Sometimes, we tend to forget what God HAS done for us in the past. We can get so wrapped up in life today with all its problems, pressures, and predicaments that we lose sight of God’s faithful loving care over us. Sometimes we can doubt that He is with us or sees our struggles. We might lose heart when He doesn’t seem to answer our prayers or doesn’t seem to care that we carry heavy burdens. Especially during these times, a well-intentioned trip down “Memory Lane” might be just what Doctor Jesus orders! Perhaps that’s why, in His Word, He reminds us to “remember the Lord.” When we do, good things result!
Certainly, remembering where God has led us, what He has brought us through, and how He has always cared for us helps to build our faith, strengthen our resolve, and encourage our steps forward with Him. It might be just the impetus we need to move into tomorrow and step into our future with our Faithful God.
Whether you write a diary of your experiences with God listing places, dates, and encounters, or just simply sit and ponder these memories – the exercise can only revive in you a new focus on the faithfulness and lovingkindness of God. Let’s take a few moments and thank God for what He has done. Our own trip down “memory lane” might just fit the bill! Why don’t you try it and see? Moses did.