A Mercies Diary (aka a Thankful List)

In my studies this morning I came across a tool from which all of us could benefit.

Not long ago, I was on a stroll in the neighborhood with one of my daughters and her baby. For some reason, I went on a tirade of complaining and negativity throughout the walk. Towards the end, she stopped, looked me squarely in the eyes and said these words: “Dad, it seems to be you need to go home and make a thankful list.” After getting my defense shields down, it was obvious to see that she was completely right. I was in danger of forgetting the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:12 cautions: “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord.” “All of us are often in danger of forgetting what God has said, given and done. We also forget who God is—He is our Father, Guide, Protector, Comforter, and Sovereign. 

The gifted nineteenth-century hymn-writer, Frances Ridley Havergal, who wrote the beloved hymn “Take My Life, And Let It Be,” regularly kept a ‘Mercies Diary’. 
At the end of each day she gratefully recorded in four or five words just one thing for which she was supremely thankful. 

A similar practice might save us from the sin of persistent ingratitude. Forgetting God’s goodness seriously impoverishes our spirituality.”

  • Raymond Brown. The Message of Deuteronomy: Not by Bread Alone, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1993, p. 100.

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