It's strange, I've felt so run-down lately but today, a day after being very ill, I feel so good, so energized, so...fine.
I laid in bed as long as I could stand this morning. I was afraid of getting up and feeling icky again, so I was a bit late in getting around. But once I finally arose, I spent some time reading and studying the Scriptures (which I know has a lot to do with my current joy and energy).
I've been keeping a plain, black, moleskin journal as I read the Bible. Journaling is a good thing. Whether you do it on the computer or write the words by hand, I've found the act of journaling through my spiritual life rewarding and encouraging. It has reminded me time and time again of the goodness of God acting in my own life, my own story. And we must remember His grace and mercy to us, His daughters, His sons.
For example, during my first semester of college I remember going through a lot of spiritual turmoil. It was the hardest struggle I'd ever faced in my walk with God, and at the time I felt I'd never been farther from Him. About a year ago, as my parents were packing up their house and preparing to move to Slovakia, I had to get a lot of my books and other belongings from them. When I was going through my old books, I found among them the notebook I kept during my first semester in college. As I read through the words I wrote, it was obvious that I was struggling spiritually--but it was also apparent (though I may not have realized it at the time) that the Lord was with me and that the Holy Spirit was guiding me and comforting me. I could see that my heart was crying out for God and He was hearing and answering my prayers. Some of the words I read I had no recollection of writing, they even seemed as if someone else had written them. It was amazing to be able to look over a portion of my life that told me things I could have never remembered if I hadn't written them down. And it was encouraging to my spirit to see that the Word of the Lord is living and active, and that He was and is actively working in me, sanctifying me.
This morning, as I was reading through my current journal (it dates back to just after I was married), I had a similar experience. Several months ago I read the book Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. In my journal I had written an excerpt from the book that ministered to me immensely during that time in my life, and it still does today. It was sweet and good to read it and be reminded of it:
"'Yes I am tired,' she said, 'But what of that? It is only a question of days now, and all my tired feelings will be over. Then I shall be as young and as fresh as ever, and I shall have strength to praise and to love God as I can not do now. But before I go, I want once more to tell you how good He is, how blessed it is to suffer with Him, how infinitely happy He has made me in the hottest heat of the furnace. It will strengthen you in your trials to remember this, my dying testimony. There is no wilderness so dreary but that His love can illuminate it; no desolation so desolate but that He can sweeten it. I know what I am saying. It is no delusion. I believe that the highest, purest happiness is known only to those who have learned Christ in sick rooms, in poverty, in racking suspense and anxiety, amid hardships, and at the open grave.'
"Yes, the radiant face, worn by sickness and suffering, but radiant still, said in language yet more unspeakably impressive:
'To learn Christ, this is life!'"