Monday, January 17, 2011

Planting the Flag

Several of my online friends put up posts at the new year about their ONE word resolutions for the year ahead. I was intrigued by the idea. What if I were to do the same? What if I prayed and asked the Lord what one word He would have me to focus on this year?

In light of our recent news, I've been praying earnestly about what this year will look like. Certainly it will be filled with transition. We feel excited about the opportunity before us, and at peace about where the Lord is leading us. He has confirmed in many ways that this is the path we are to follow. But, I will confess that there's a huge temptation for me to worry about the changes ahead. Packing up our house, saying goodbye to friends here, leaving behind the only life my girls have ever known, transitioning our family to a whole different culture and lifestyle, affording an expensive degree, finding a place to live, wondering about finding new friends and "fitting in" to life in the States...all of these are a bit daunting, especially taken together. I find it easy to pray about these things, put them in the Lord's hands, and then pick them right back up again! Some days not ten minutes passes and I find myself turning things over in my mind again, wondering, worrying, contemplating.

So as I thought about the concept of simply asking the Lord for one word for this next year, He immediately brought it to mind: TRUST. This year has the potential for great spiritual growth, in that I will be challenged to trust Him in many new ways. I must remember that there is nothing that I will face this year that I cannot trust Him with. He is trustworthy, today, tomorrow, forever. The Lord can be trusted whether I live in Asia or America or somewhere in between. He is worthy of my whole hearted trust, no matter what circumstance I am facing.

We had a long bus ride last week to visit a friend and I re-read The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson. In it, she talked about an experience where she "planted a flag" in her heart to walk with the Lord through a particularly difficult circumstance. The imagery stuck with me and I felt the Lord calling me to the same.

So, here it is. I am planting a flag in my heart for 2011 that has TRUST emblazoned upon it. When I am tempted to worry, to fret, to be afraid, I hope to say to my soul, "None of that! Remember, this is a year to TRUST. This circumstance, too, (whatever it is) can be another opportunity to trust Him."

Already I am finding that when I actively put my trust in the Lord for the concerns on my heart, He brings an amazing peace and joy through that process. How thankful I am for His gracious love which is always at work changing me! And how I want to be changed! Lord, may this year be a year to trust you with every situation I find myself in.

What am I trusting specifically? Words like these:

Hebrews 4:15-16: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 1:3-5: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Psalm 91:1-2: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Hebrews 13:5: Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

These few brief verses only scratch the surface of His precious promises! But how wonderful they are. He is with me, He will not leave me. He understands my weakness. He is preserving for me a living hope, my salvation, forgiveness of my sins. He is my fortress and refuge, no matter what changes or difficulties may come. He is trustworthy.

How about you? Is there some area in your heart where you need to "plant a flag"? Is the Lord impressing on you a word that He wants you to focus on this year in your spiritual walk?


Anna said...

This year I feel like the word the Lord has brought to mind is 'embrace.' I want to be intentional about embracing His plans and His ways. So often I find myself questioning or doubting some of the paths He has me walking because they are difficult at time. This year I want to strive to embrace Him and the journey. I want to faithfully live so that His name might be made great in each and every circumstance.

sandra said...

So neat. I've been following a few people's "word of the year". I like how you've allowed the Lord to mark your year instead of trying to come up with a word that represents the year you'd like to have.