It’s a few days into the New Year, and I finally got to do one of my favorite things – start my new journal. I always start it with an entry on my word for the year, and this year was no different.
As I looked back on 1/1/15, the word I had in my heart was CONTEND, and it proved to be accurate. It wasn’t something I was excited about – contend means to struggle to surmount and it takes a lot of work (A LOT OF WORK) – but forewarned is forearmed and I was thankful for the heads up.
And boy did I contend. I fought for grace because I felt overwhelmed. I fought for peace as I stared down my mountain – again. Another year. Same mountain. But this will be the year it crumbles into the sea – because I said so. Because He said so.
I fought for rest in the midst of the hectic and crazy busy-ness that was my life of ministry and working two jobs and raising three teenagers.
And I fought for joy over the depression that always seemed to be lurking at the back of my mind.
I fought and I fought and I contended – sometimes in His strength and sometimes, sadly, it was in my own. (That wasn’t very successful.)
He was always right there with me – watching, reaching, wanting to help and waiting for me to take it. And I did, but then I’d go right back to spinning my wheels and doing it on my own. Barely holding on. Barely keeping all the plates spinning in the air without crashing them. (Okay – sometimes I dropped them all.)
Why is that such a hard lesson to learn? Especially when some years I master it. Then some years……not so much.
He kept beckoning me to tap into those unforced rhythms of grace that were there all along. To drink from the life-sustaining, strength-giving, fully satisfying rivers that flow from His throne.
Sometimes I did, and it was glorious. And I’d think to myself, “Dummy. This is the secret. This is the answer to the stress. Stay here. Do this. A lot!”
And I intended to, but……
Anyone else? Please, make me feel better about myself.
So as I’ve been in prayer for this year, for 2016, the word I get is rest.
R E S T.
Come to Me and I will give you rest.
Sweet, blessed, glorious, supernatural rest.
I’m intrigued and excited and I feel oh so hopeful.
I don’t know what 2016 will look like yet. I’ve got some ideas, but rarely does it ever go exactly as planned.
No doubt – NO DOUBT – it will be as busy (if not busier) and hectic and crazy and chaotic as 2015. We’re still in the ministry. We still have three teenagers. Life is still happening. Fast.
It’ll look somewhat the same on the outside….maybe. Probably. But on the other hand, it’s going to be completely different.
It’s a year of rest. Thank God!
Although, I don’t think it’s the “be still and know” type of rest. It’s more likely the “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” type of rest.
Being still is what I picture when I read Psalm 23. He leads me beside still waters. Don’t move. Listen to the quiet. Take a break. And that’s not what I have in my heart (although I’ll take it if it comes. Don’t get me wrong.)
But I think it’s more like standing still and watching. Have you ever tried to stand still for a long time? It’s hard. It takes work and balance and patience to stand still on the sidelines and watch someone else do it.
It may not be the do-nothing kind of rest where I sit and reflect and relax. But it’s rest just the same. Rest on the inside. Rest in the soul. It’ll be a year of resting from the stress and tapping into His grace and watching in amazement and wonder what He will do on my behalf.
And not just tapping in to it every once in a while – I mean staying plugged in to His grace and river and strength.
It’s a choice, and this is what I choose. R E S T.
I will run and not grow weary. I will walk and not faint.
I will find what eluded me last year – I will find rest for my soul.
What’s your word for the year?