The Notebook

My apologies that my post for Saturday was relatively short – something I ate that day did not agree with me, and I’m still recovering.

However, I still want to honor my commitment to express daily gratitude to the Lord for some blessing in my life, and I will do so now. Today, I’d like to talk about my little notebook, which I have mentioned (briefly, in passing), as “QFG”. Allow me to explain:

I try to pray regularly, but I’ve discovered that I need something tangible to help me keep track of everything. I’ve tried keeping a prayer journal in the past, but as with all previous attempts to maintain anything even remotely resembling a diary (excluding this blog, of course), I’ve not been great at keeping the thing going.

So I decided to simplify matters and buy a tiny notebook. On the outside cover, I’ve written my name, and on the inside cover, I listed my email address – in case the notebook gets misplaced – and the words “Questions for God” (or “QFG”).

Each day – or as often as i remember to do so, ideally before bedtime – I try to think of any questions that I have for the Lord, and I write them down there. As the answers come, I check off the ones where I’ve gotten a “yes,” and put an ‘X’ through the ones where I’ve gotten a “no” or “not now”. I’ve found that the QFG notebook is particularly helpful for the little things (for instance, I couldn’t remember the full account number for my internet service provider, so I wrote down, “What are the last three digits of my ISP’s account number?” The next day, I was able to locate the information, so I thanked the Lord for His help, and put a check mark through that entry.

Some of the entries are for bigger life issues. I try to keep each entry to a line or two, and phrase it in the form of a question. In the back cover of the notebook, I’ve written out the dreams that I have for my life, and put little boxes next to each one. As God fulfills them or gives me new ones, I either check each item off, cross it out, or continue to wait (FYI, many of the dreams have yet to be fulfilled).

I am grateful for my QFG notebook because it helps me feel that my communication with God is real, in a tangible way. Of course, I still pray and talk to Him – this notebook is not a replacement for prayer, but is perhaps a supplement to it – but I like it for the following reasons:

  • I carry it with me wherever I go. As a question occurs to me, I can make note of it in real time (otherwise, I may forget it!).
  • I’ve noticed that the Lord provides guidance, but rarely responds in a pronounced way. Put another way, the solution appears, or a thought occurs to me, and I know it’s from Him because the answer wasn’t there before. In seeing His answers to the small things, my faith is encouraged, because I know that He is listening and responding.
  • I can review past entries and see a clear record of the Lord’s direction, but also recognize that there are many, many entries where there has been no action or guidance. This is forcing me to wait on God and His timing; He hears me, but has chosen not to answer my petition as clearly as I’d like just now.

I’m learning that no issue is too small for the Lord. Some of you may remember when I was struggling to remember the name of a particular song – I had put that request in my notebook, and the Lord allowed me to find the answer within a matter of hours!

Here is my prayer for today: Lord, thank You that I can always bring my questions – no matter how big or small – to You, and that You are always hear me, and respond when the time is right. Sometimes, You respond right away; other times, I am required to wait and trust that You will answer, and believe that You have a good reason for the delay. While I am grateful that I do not bear the responsibility for figuring out my life, I am nonetheless responsible for living in a way that honors You. What a privilege it is to simply take my requests to You, and believe that You will provide the guidance that I need each day (the book of Proverbs also affirms this promise – Your wisdom is available to all who seek it). In Your name I pray, Amen.

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