August 10th, 1978 was a tragic day for our family. I was 16 years of age. We had a Bible College student named Robert Muthman living with us in our home in Portland, Oregon (USA). Robert was swimming with some friends and he tragically drowned. We were shocked, as was his family and our whole church community. We couldn’t believe he was gone – so young, so much potential. Why? We didn’t know. We couldn’t fully understand.
Robert was passionate and ‘full on’ about his relationship with God. At his funeral they read from a journal he kept. It was almost like he had a premonition that he was going to die. He said things in his journal like, "If I can’t get closer to you, God, I want to come to heaven and be with you."
At the time, I was what I’d call a ‘casual Christian’ – going to church but not really living fully for God. Lukewarm – serving God in such as way as to not offend the devil. At his funeral I re-dedicated my life fully to God and, although I’ve had some valleys and some doubts along the way, I’ve never turned back since. His death was the catalyst for me giving all of my life for God. I realised that life was short and I wanted to make my life count – for eternity.
I also went home that day and started my own journal – a journal of my relationship with God. I’m still keeping a journal today, almost 30 years later (I now use my computer, rather than a paper notebook). It is a place for me to write what I’m feeling, what I’m facing, and what God may be saying to me. It is a way for me to ‘externalise’ everything that is happening inside of me. At the end of every year I re-read my journal and summarise what God has done, what he has said, and what I’m learning.
My journal has been a crucial part of my relationship with God and my journey as a Christ-follower. Thanks Robert. You left a legacy in my life. Until we meet again …
Rev 1:19. Write down what you have seen — both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen later. NLT
Hab.2:1-3. I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, "Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. NLT