Elisabeth Elliot and Nancy Wilson on Journal-Keeping

This very much summarizes what I believe on journaling…

“I was very cautious about what I put in the journals. I don’t think it was because I feared someone else would discover my secrets. I think I was afraid to articulate, even for myself, feelings I might have to get rid of. Better to stick  with what God was saying to me than what my heart was saying. It seemed the safer course. I do not repudiate it now. The only way to build a house on the rock is to hear the Word (I couldn’t have heard it if all I listened to was my feelings) and then to try to do it…”

Elisabet Elliot, Passion and Purity (p. 54)

Nancy Wilson also wrote a while ago two posts on journal-keeping that are worth considering:
Part One. Part Two (if you only have time to read one, read part two. It is excellent -a must I would dare to say-.

“[W]e should and must guard our tongues in all things spoken and written: “He who guards his mouth preserves his life” (Prov. 13:3). Psalm141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Our pens need watchmen and guards just like our mouths. And the fact that a journal is “private”does not mean the words can be left unguarded.” -Nancy Wilson

 

“Life is short. Write good words.” -Nancy Wilson

Becky

God’s Providence in Life by Nancy Wilson

Many women have influenced my life through the years, but one woman has especially made a great impact  on how I live my Christian life, Mrs. Nancy Wilson. Today I am grateful for her willingness to be part of this series that has proved to be a blessing to many.

When the glass casserole dish cracks, and half the lasagna falls on the floor on its way from the oven to the kitchen counter just as the guests are arriving, it’s good to have a strong confidence in God’s Providence over all things. In His good providence, He wanted this to happen. Tonight. Some day it will make a good story. But tonight, with dinner on the floor and guests in the hallway, it seems pretty tragic.

What is God’s Providence? It is God’s foreordaining of all things, and His care and protection of His creatures in the midst of all that comes to pass. When we trust in God’s Providence, we are saying we trust that He is working all things out for our good and His glory. And when we trust in Him in this way, we can rest. And we can know that He ordains all that comes to pass. Sometimes we call an event a wonderful providence. This is usually when we have our prayers answered in a remarkable way. But some events are difficult and painful. These we call a hard providence. But if our theology is biblical, we will know that they are both good because God is the author of all that comes to us.

When we view the world this way, we can interpret all God’s ways in a positive light. We know He is good, and we know that He loves us, His children. Therefore, we can walk through trials knowing that it is a wise and loving Father who has ordained this event for us.

Having this view of Providence is very helpful, not only in the kitchen, but in every area. Lasagna on the floor may be a mess, but it is not life-threatening. Cancer is another story. What about that? Is God overseeing even that

The first time I read All Things for Good by Thomas Watson, I was leading a group of women through the book all together. One of the women in the group had just lost her husband in a snowmobile accident. She had six children, and the youngest was five. When we studied God’s Providence together, we had a very close-up view of what a comfort this doctrine is in the midst of hard times.

Sometimes it is easy to see Providence at work in other people’s lives, but we may have a difficult time seeing Him in our own circumstances. We can send others encouraging notes about trusting God, but when the trial hits us close to home, it may be more difficult to actually submit to God’s Providence. It may be a hard providence. But God gives more grace. Not only is He the God of Providence, but He is also the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.

We must learn to interpret God’s ways as He intends them .We must never attribute bad motives to God. Circumstances may change, but He never changes. Our lives are His from first to last. And He does all things well.

The Puritans understood this. When they were in the midst of affliction, they tried to be good stewards of the affliction. This takes us back to the lasagna. If we can be a good steward of a kitchen mishap like that, then we can learn to take it to the next level, and learn to receive all God’s good providences, whether hard or wonderful, as opportunities to glorify Him.

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