Matthew Henry suggests Moses may have kept a diary of his forty years as Israel’s leader. In chapter 33 of Numbers, we may be seeing an expert from that diary or a summary of one. We see the route the Jews took from Egypt to the Promised Land, and it’s more like a maze than a straight line. The names of the places where they stayed reminds us of some their experiences along the way – experiences meant to teach us today.
So, would keeping a diary be important for a Christian?
I had never watched “The Amazing Race” on TV until this past season. A married couple whose You Tube channel I enjoy were contestants, so I thought I’d watch to see how far they got in the competition – and they won! I actually enjoyed watching what amounts to a race around the world, with some “roadblocks” along the way. (the maggot infested cheese was a roadblock that would have sent me home!)
Here is what this winning couple attributed to their success: Kim’s diary. Every night she would get out her notebook and write what they had done. She would draw pictures of what they had seen. Then she and her husband would study the diary in case there was a memory test at the end of the race. There was. And they won pretty easily.
So what does that have to do with anything? I don’t know about your memory, but mine isn’t what it used to be. I kind of regret not having a diary, from let’s say 2002 or 1992, so I could look back and see how God was working in my life. I’m sure the things I thought were challenging – or impossible- at the time were worked out by God, and I’d like to see how. I think that would be encouraging in my walk today.
If you are one who has been keeping a diary, let me encourage you to go back and read it. Let God show you how He’s brought you to today.
If you aren’t in the habit of keeping a diary, you might want to begin. I’m one that isn’t comfortable writing down my “feelings,” but a diary can be just the facts. You might say, well nothing happened today that would be important to journal. Maybe not at the moment. But God IS working in your life one day at a time. Maybe this “unimportant” day will play an important roll down the road.
I know keeping a diary isn’t for everyone. I guess you won’t know until you try. But there is something valuable about remembering, about looking back and appreciating the road God has walked with you. And trust me, you young folk, remembering gets harder the older you get!