And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it (Habakkuk 2:2 ESV).
Friend to Friend
I sorted through items in the basement as we prepared to move. A dust-covered, battered suitcase hid in a corner.
What could be inside?
When I unzipped it, I found a pile of old notebooks filled with my handwriting. There were years of them. They weren’t anything fancy, just scrawled notes, scriptures, questions, and thoughts written in the pages and margins of an inexpensive tablet.
I sat on the floor with the notebooks around me and began to read.
As I did, I could almost see the person writing those words – the young mama with three little kids at her feet; the woman diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer at 31 years of age; the woman who felt called to teach others about Jesus, even as she wrestled with that call. Year after year, she studied the best she knew how and wrote down her thoughts.
The book of Habakkuk reminds me of those old notebooks in a way. This book of the Bible is different than any other of the prophetic books. Rather than talking to people about God, the prophet is holding a long conversation with God Himself. It’s clear that he longs for understanding.
At one point Habakkuk waits for God to answer a more difficult question. When God responds, He offers these instructions to the prophet:
And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2 ESV)
Why was this important?
God asked Habakkuk to write down their conversations for two reasons. The first was for Habakkuk’s benefit. The second was because others would one day ask these same questions and God’s conversation with the prophet would help them find their way.
You and I might struggle with starting a conversation with God. We don’t know what to say. Our questions or thoughts might seem too big or too difficult. Yet Habakkuk shows us that God is not only waiting to answer, He’s willing. As Habakkuk talked with God and wrote those words down, it became a historical account of not only the power of talking to God, but the intimacy of it.
Perhaps that is why I was so excited by those old notebooks. Within the pages, I could see the beauty of a life-long conversation with God, and how I grew because of it. I could see how some of those questions were later answered. I could see how that wrestling transitioned into not only direction for me, but later how God used that to help others find peace or a next step.
That time you spend talking and listening to God?
Don’t underestimate what is taking place.
Those thoughts, questions, or scriptures as you share your heart with him is doing a work.
That conversation, whether recorded in a notebook or journal, the margins of your Bible, or the contours of your heart, are the story of your relationship with Him and it also will one day help others “run” toward Him as well.
You and I are invited to a life-long conversation with God. Isn’t that exciting? Whatever is on your heart, whatever questions you have, let the conversation begin.
God, as I show up to pray and learn and grow in my faith, You meet me there. You bring Your Word to life. Your direction takes root in my heart. Thank You for the invitation to a life-long conversation with You. Help me to celebrate what You’ve done over the years, and for what is yet to come.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Talking to God can be as simple as asking or answering a question. Perhaps this will help you get started.
What is one way that God has encouraged you in the past year?
Write your answer in a journal or in a notebook. Write the date beside it. If there is a scripture that encouraged you during that season, write that down too.
If you have kept a journal or a notebook in the past, go back and read a couple of pages. Thank Him for any growth that has come through those conversations.
More from the Girlfriends
What if we are unsure of whether we are hearing from God, or not?
In Suzanne’s book, The Spirit-Led Heart: Living a Life of Love and Faith without Borders Suzie shares ways we can not only hear God’s voice but discern it. The good news is we have a Helper who will not leave us alone or ill-equipped.
Download a gorgeous frameable Spirit-Led Heart print for free.
© 2021 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
I am absolutely bless by Today’s Devotional.
God bless you all.
Great devotional, thank-you! What He spoke to me was; as much time you spend sharing to people about Me, have that same long conversation with Me, you will meet me, and be awareness of my presences in your life!
Love that so much!
I would love to write my thoughts, prayers, concerns, hopes, dreams etc….in a daily journal, but hesitate to. Once I am gone, I don’t want anyone, my husband or children, family…reading them. Any suggestions.
Robin, this is such a personal decision. There’s a good chance that your loved ones would be blessed by your wrestling, by your thoughts, and by your relationship with the Lord after you are gone. However, it’s your choice and if you want it to be private with you and the Lord always, maybe you can do it on a file that is on your computer. Perhaps others might have thoughts. <3
Thank you for all the God inspired devotional. This one touched me deeply, as this past year (Covid) helped my two sisters and I become more connected through praying on the phone, a few nights a week. I totally identify with the Spirit Led Heart writing. I am thankful that through this pandemic, God sharpened me to become better through Him. He helped me discover all the gifts and promises He has in storage for me.
I have a question. Every time I pray, I feel insured of wether to ask God to do miracles in my life and the life of others around me, or should I thank Him fir all that He has done?
As in any conversation, let it simply unfold. <3 We are invited to freely come into His presence and ask what we need. We are also told that worship is powerful, and it’s also simply a response to the love that is shared between you and God. Matthew 6:8 says he knows what we need before we even ask, and I love that so much. It takes the pressure off. I come in, ready to talk about those things, thankful for the connection, open to wherever that conversation leads -- but also knowing that God truly knows our hearts.
Suzie, I’m 70 years old and have always written down my feelings as a means of coping with my life. Since just last night I found two of my old journals from 10 and 20 years ago, your devo touched me. Reading the words I had written flooded my heart with deep memories and emotions! I never thought of my writing as being a constant conversation with God. I can see the beauty in a new light now. Thank you for giving me additional blessings!
This delights my heart!
Robin, I would challenge you to go deeper into why you don’t want those closest to you reading it. Being open with others about our struggles brings humanity to those relationships. It allows others to feel they can open up and be vulnerable as well. It shows them that although we may seem it have things all together, we’re still figuring out this thing called life as well. Honesty allows for deeper, more meaningful relationships. Revelation 12:11 reads “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Emphasis on “by the word of their testimony.” Your story can help others. Don’t let fear stop you from sharing your experiences. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
I have journaled for many many years. What I notice is some of what I had written still remains true to this day. The difference for me is seeing the relevance of my thoughts and attitude from the past to the present. From struggling with drug addiction,a failed marriage,and working 2-3 jobs to support my 2 children I can honestly say God has been with me every step of the way. My journals help me to realize that through Gods Grace and Mercy I have experienced tremendous growth and direction for my life.My writings show my life story ,even unanswered prayer. Instead my journals demonstrate Gods presence in my life as a compass pointing me in different directions all for my good! I reflect on blessings, success, and achievements; Degree, successful career (over 30 yrs),and my adult children who now have their own families.My Life story serves as a reminder of how much I am truly loved….I keep these journals as a reminder to never take for granted all that God has done in my life. My hope is whomever reads my journals will receive encouragement,wisdom, and discernment for the future…In his love and with a truly grateful heart…thank you
I love this, Debbie.
This really spoke to me today for 2 reasons. First of all, I write in journals a lot. I write my prayers to God. I also write notes about scripture that I am studying. Second of all, in response to Robin… After the death of my father, I stumbled across a prayer journal of his. I never even knew that he wrote in a journal. He just never opened up like that. Reading that journal was so special. I saw into his heart. I saw a closeness to God that he never expressed to me. In that journal he also wrote about prayer concerns he had and the love for my mother, me and my siblings. He was not one to say I love you verbally, but reading his thoughts on paper meant the world to me.