With the new year in full swing, I have to come clean about something: I don’t like my word for this year. I didn’t choose it, and I don’t want to do it.
More than likely you’ve heard someone say, “My word for this year is,” and then they tell you the word that they feel led to focus on for that entire year. Perhaps you’ve even landed upon a word that you are focusing on right now.
Last year, in 2019, I focused – or tried to focus – on the word “Love”. That was my word, and for a while there I was doing well. And though I haven’t mastered it like I was oh so positive I would (who was I kidding?), there is a lot that I have learned and am even more convicted because of my knowledge.
And because I was working on loving more last year, I thought perhaps I would continue with it into this new year. Maybe do better.
But that wasn’t meant to be.
Sure, I’ll continue to remember what I’ve learned and continue to grow in that area of my life, but there is another word that has been in the forefront of my mind since the dropping of the ball in Times Square at midnight on January 1st, 2020.
What is that word?
This year, I’m supposed to learn to trust in God more, and frankly, I don’t want to do it. Terrible, isn’t it? There are many aspects of my life right now where I know God is working, but I don’t like the immediate situation or the waiting.
What I want is for God to work now. Now, now. Not then now, not later now, but now. And I want to know exactly what He’s doing or why He’s allowing certain events to take place.
Can I really place my trust in a God who allows people around me to get hurt? In a God who allows change to happen that I personally do not feel is justified?
Many changes are happening at my church, including – or especially – a new pastor. He’s a nice enough guy, but I would not have picked him. Our personalities clash, and he’s the type of person I like to pick on (all in good fun).
My personal feelings toward his personality are nothing, though, compared to how I feel about the treatment my husband has received based upon what I feel is a “You are different and I don’t like it” mentality.
But God has placed this person where he is, and I know that He would never do anything for harm. I have tried to ease my husband’s hurt by telling him that maybe this is God’s way of lightening his load and letting him focus on what God has next for him. And though I believe this, it is still a huge struggle.
And it’s not just church. My husband and I have a calling on our lives, one where trust in God is going to play a large role. Trust that what we need to carry out His Will will be supplied. Trust in His timing. Trust in His wisdom and strength, because we can’t do this without Him
Perhaps these examples are the reasons why this word is so strong in my mind, in my heart. There is so much more in life that God wants for me, for those around me, and if I just trust in Him, a trust that defies everything I may feel at the moment, doors will open. Answers may be revealed.
I know it won’t be an overnight success. Far from it. That’s why I have a full year to start working on it.
This will not be easy. I love God, and I know He only does what is good, but I am but flesh, and the flesh is weak.
But God won’t give me this word and then walk away, and it is my responsibility as a Christian to at least try. And though I may do so with much kicking and screaming, I am committing myself to focus on Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Perhaps God has given you a word that you don’t want to embrace for whatever reasons you feel justified giving. But just as I have to remind myself, you should remind yourself as well: God is good. He will never lead you astray, and though the road may seem difficult, what He gives you to focus on is right.
Give your word to God and allow Him to work in you this year. As of today, you have 349 days to try and try again before that shiny ball in Times Square once more falls upon a new year.
Lord Jesus, I thank You for challenging me in my faith, and though I may not necessarily be a willing participant, I want to try. Help me, Lord, as I work on trusting You more this year. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.