“In one of our early meetings,” I said to Stan, “you indicated that it had taken you a long time to develop a growing relationship with God. Will you tell me about that?”
“When I first got my ticket to Glory, or became a Christian, it was difficult for me to develop spending a regular time with God. I tried and tried, but nothing seemed to work. I knew I was a Christian, but it was a very shallow type of Christianity.”
“Well, I was attending a good church regularly, had Christian friends, spent some time praying, was involved in some Bible study, and occasionally read a daily devotional. But I was feeling real empty.”
“A friend of mine suggested that I start journaling with God. I did not really know what that meant, but tired it. After a day or two, I would find that the next entry came four or five months later. It just didn’t work for me.”
“But, obviously, there was a breakthrough at some point. How did that happen?”
“From a book my pastor had written. In one part of that book he suggested that a good way to develop a regular devotion time with God was to read the fifteenth chapter of John’s Gospel every day for 30 days and pray about what God wanted me to see.”
“That’s the vine and branches chapter, isn’t it?” I asked.
“That’s right. It’s where Jesus says He is the vine, His Father is the vinedresser, and we are the branches.”
“Did you do what the pastor suggested?”
“Yes. I read it every morning and prayed. After about two weeks, I began to write about what I sensed God was telling me. That was the beginning of my daily journaling that has gone on for many years.”
“After I finished the fifteenth chapter of John, I went on to the sixteenth, and on until I have been through the Bible several times.”
“Always journaling about what you are reading?” I asked.
“Yes, and God is amazingly faithful in what He shows me.”
“That is quite a journey!”, I exclaimed.
“Well put, my friend,” Stan replied. “That is what I call my journal, now almost 100 volumes long, ‘The journal of the Journey.’”
“I would like to know more about this,” I said.
“Journaling is a real passion for me as it has been my way of relating to God. I will be happy to tell you all I know about it if you are interested, but let’s take it a small bite at a time.”
“I’m ready to eat whatever bites you have for me, whenever you want, but I will leave that to you.”
“That’s another story for another day, but we will get to it.”
And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you want to have an ever-deepening relationship with you through spending time with you. You know how difficult that is for me some times, but you also know that a deeper relationship is what you want. I want what you want, and I ask you to move in me to lead and help me to follow where you want me to be. Amen.