Around New Years, when everyone is making resolutions, some people ask God to give them a word for that year. I’ve heard of several people doing this before. The word could be something like “patience” or “selflessness” or “faith”. Your word is something to focus on throughout the year. An area that God will work on in your life.
Recently, a friend of mine shared her word with me: intentional. (How brilliant right?!) This could mean several different things, but I think it ultimately means to be purposeful…in your walk with God, in serving others, in your ministry that He has given you, in your relationships, in your time etc. To live and love intentionally.
I was laying in bed the same night that she told me this with a ton on my mind. I’m kinda in a weird season of life where I feel like I’m just waiting for a lot of stuff to happen. I catch little glimpses of what I believe God wants me to do, but just don’t have the resources to do them yet. I’m in school, back at home, unmarried, not yet in my career, and not really in ministry as much as I would like to be. I feel like I’m crouched down at the starting line just waiting for someone to shoot the gun. I’m ready to run.
As I was laying in bed, I began to ponder what my word would be and what I needed to focus on for this upcoming year.
It didn’t take me long to hear the word in my mind: Rest.
What a strange word.
I must admit, this word revelation did not completely take me by surprise.
Have you ever heard God speak to you about something in about a million different ways? (Or maybe that’s just me, because I’m too stubborn or clueless to get it the first time). That’s how the concept of ‘rest’ has been for me lately.
My personality type does NOT rest. My mother may disagree because she sees my lazy side, but even when I’m lying on the couch binge watching Netflix, my mind is running at full speed. I’m constantly planning, pondering, or checking things off my list. There is no ‘off’ button for me, especially in this preparation season of life.
God has been placing rest on my heart for several weeks now. One thing I have realized is not only how much I don’t do it, but also how much I don’t even know how to do it.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.
I have always loved this verse when I was anxious or overwhelmed with stress, but now when I really focus on my word… rest… it becomes so much more. It is the key.
What exactly does this mean? How do we rest when life demands so much of us?
I’ll be honest, I still don’t have a solid answer for this, which is why I think this next year will have a lot of lessons in store for me. I do know that true rest starts with Jesus alone, and that is where I will begin.
So, 2017… I don’t know what you have in store. I will still be in school. I will still be working. I will still be trying to take on entirely too much without ever saying “no”. I will still be busy, and at times feel overwhelmed. But I will also be determined to learn how to rest in the Lord and put it into practice. I believe that is what God is gonna show me this year and what I am going to work on with His help.
So, stay tuned friends. I can’t wait to take on this new year with Him.
Lord, thank You for all that You have done in this past year of my life. I believe my word for 2016 was ‘wait’. There were many things I had to wait for in 2016. Even though I still feel like I’m in a period of waiting, I have seen You work in huge and mighty ways. I’m SO thankful, God. You have moved mountains. I pray that as this new year approaches, You will lead and guide me in all areas of my life. I pray that above all, You teach me how to rest. How to rest in who You are, in who I am because of You, in the plans You have for me, and in this current season of my life. To rest fully assured that You are in control. I love you, Dad. Please continue to reveal Yourself to me every single day.
What will your word be for 2017? Ask God to reveal it to you!