One quiet Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, I picked up a book called “A Song in Siberia: The True Story of a Russian Church that Could Not Be Silenced.” Often I skip prologues and introductions, but that day I started reading the preface, and the words of a letter from the believers in Siberia seemed to be written just to me. “Our wish before the Lord today,” the church wrote, “is that He will call from our midst and our times such scribes and recorders as in ancient days and in the period of the founding and confirming of the church…in this way, many people in our day also may read and learn of all the wonderful deeds of our Lord, who yesterday, today, and forever is the same (Hebrews 13:8). Thus, dear brothers and sisters, we appeal to those of you who have still not begun to write all the events taking place in your lives and to whom God has revealed the importance of describing His glorious works in your churches. Take your pen and begin to write and describe everything as your life and service passes by.”
As this New Year begins, may their challenge become yours, as it has become mine. When you see the Lord working, write it down. When you’re fighting doubt and confusion, as I was one night, and open your Bible in desperation to find a verse staring at you that perfectly fits your struggle, and the Lord’s peace fills your heart – write it down. When you’re tired and grumpy doing chores in the back yard on a Saturday evening, and you lift your eyes over the fence to see a glorious sunset painted by your Father who knew you needed encouragement – write it down. When you feel exhausted and sick, and you have to tell a missionary story in front of a hundred children and teachers without having had time to prepare, and then you leave it to the Lord and watch Him tell it through you in a way that holds those children’s attention as you never could have done yourself – write it down. Simple things? Perhaps. But they form a record of the love of a Father, the faithfulness of a Savior, the all-sufficient grace that will provide the strength and ability to do whatever work God sets before us. I forget so quickly, and reading over the stories of the Lord’s work in me is a tremendous encouragement and blessing. Looking back, I see the hand of a God that I can trust with all my heart to lead me, guide me, and bring me at last into His presence, fully pleasing to Him. May He make this year one of seeing and recording His hand at work in your lives, and bring joy to you and glory to Himself as He works His perfect will in His people and His world.