Are you someone who looks back?
I’ll often pull out old journals or things I’ve written down, and spend time reading them, remembering. This has become a special and sacred process for me, and there are a couple reasons why I do it:
- I want to remember WHO I HAVE BEEN – so I can not go back to that place again. REAL TALK: sometimes I read my journals from 3-4 years ago and I’m shocked with how selfish and arrogant I sound . . . It’s so good to be reminded of the development God has worked hard in me to produce. There are, of course, parts of me I am glad to see in the pages, but those are not the majority . . .
- I want to remember WHO GOD HAS BEEN. How many times have I written a prayer begging God to show up in my situation – or asking for something incredibly self-seeking – and God shows up not 3 pages later with an answer I didn’t expect? God answers prayer, and I find the proof in the pages of my journals. God has been faithful and kind, so I can trust he WILL BE in the future.
I don’t always date what I’ve written, but I can easily find an entry for any part of my life. We know our own stories so well . . .
This morning I was searching through a particularly painful season of my life – I wanted to see what I had written, how I processed, what God spoke to me then.
Isn’t it interesting: I found the pages containing my laments; I found the pages containing my appeals; I even found pages holding, so carefully, my surrender.
Do you know what I did not find in the pages?
Quiet moments, sitting on my front porch.
Long conversations with trusted mentors.
Tearful nights full of timid cries, “Your will be done, not mine.”
Cloud-breaking moments of intense joy building my trust in my Creator.
Of this I am convinced: God does his BEST WORK between the pages.
We do our best to seek Him there – between the pages.
In our generation, we see the lives of everyone we know, love, and respect shared a million times over on every platform we could imagine. We read books written by people we want to be like. Most importantly, we have scriptures to lead and direct us to the Heart of God.
We see the finished product – or at least, the words of progress, chapters closed.
God is working between the pages. It is His work which leads to our joy, understanding, surrender, our awakening – and our RESURRECTING.
I often wonder:
What were the words Jesus whispered to Lazarus when he came out of the tomb?
What did Jesus write on the ground the day he freed the woman caught in adultery from condemnation, but called her to a free life?
How many times did Jesus tell his friend John he loved him?
How many hours did Jesus listen to the hearts of his disciples who wanted desperately to make a difference in the world around them?
What was the party like when Jesus returned to Heaven from the depths of the grave to claim victory once and for all . . .
Who I have been could never turn into who I am becoming without God’s work between the pages of my life.
I will continue to remember the progress – but never forget the process. I must remain fiercely devoted to the process, as I am fiercely devoted to my God.
Is God calling to you, in between pages today? Meet him there. It’s where the good stuff happens.