Sometimes you pray and ask God for something that you think you really want. Then when He answers your prayers, you discover that perhaps you are a just a little bit miffed at the answer He gave.
So it is with my One Word for 2016. For the past several years I have asked the Lord for a word that would define the coming year. A word that I could lean into. A word that He would use and bring to pass in my life that year. Each year He has been faithful to give me a word, or two. Each year that word has impacted my life in ways that I cannot even begin to recount.
2012 ………………. TRUST
2013 ………………. JESUS ……………… FOCUS
2014 ……………… LOSS……………….OTHERS
2015 ……………… RENEW
I’ll just tell you, though, I do not like my word for 2016 one little bit. I’ve told Him that. This word will require something of me. Not that the other words and years did not. Oh, boy did they!
This one, however, is different. If you know me at all, you know that I am a Type A control-freak. I have little patience for laziness or shirking one’s responsibilities. My motto has always been ‘if I want something done right, I just need to do it myself’. I go like a crazy woman from the time my feet hit the floor until I drop in bed. I feel guilty if I am not productive, and lists are my very best friend.
Oh, I would love to just plop in a chair and read for a few hours, but then how would the laundry get done or the bills get paid? Who would keep Bible study going? How in the world would the world turn without me being constantly busy???? (Okay, that last one was very much tongue-in-cheek!)
Late in the summer, I began to feel the Lord beating on my thick head about this issue of busy-ness and a lack of true rest. I wrote about it here. When I finally recognized that the Lord was trying to communicate with me concerning leading and hosting Bible study, I bent my knee in submission and stepped back from both activities. When our group resumes in January, I will be a participant, not a leader or hostess.
I thought, surely, that would be enough. But, NOOOOOOO! God continued to pester me. I should have known better than to pray about a word for 2016, given how clearly He told me to step away from Bible study leadership. Once I began to sense what the WORD would be, I might have thrown a little fit about it. I might have said, “Next word, please.” I might have balked ever so much.
However, good sense kicked in. I have walked with Jesus long enough to know that He will get His way. That will happen one of two ways…and which way it happens is up to me:
- I can bend my knee to His desire
- Or He can break my legs (not necessarily literally) and remind me that His way is best
I’m wise enough to know that I need to bend my stubborn knee to what He desires. It’s just easier on me.
So, in obedience to what I clearly hear Him telling me, I am seeking to embrace my WORD for 2016.
I am already finding several ways and areas that I need to embrace this word, rest. Physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually….He is showing me areas where I must rest and wait and trust.
- Physical rest – I am seeking to carve out at least an hour a day where I am not productive and busy
- Spiritual rest – Waiting on God, seeking to hear His voice, turning down the noise of life
- Relational rest – I am using Arabah Joy’s incredible goal setting program, Grace Goals, to help me cease some relationship struggles. Grace Goals is a wonderful tool for any changes one needs to make. NOTE: I am an affiliate for Grace Goals, which means I will earn a small commission if you chose to purchase it. I only recommend products that I use and love, so you can be certain that Grace Goals is worth your money
- Emotional rest – I am not responsible for the world. I am only responsible for me. I cannot force relationships and circumstances. I must trust God and his timing for those.
These are just a few of the ways that I am praying and moving into my 2016 word……REST. I know that God will bless my submission and obedience. I hope to share more about my dance with REST as 2016 moves forward.
What is your word or verse for 2016? How are you approaching your word? What is God doing in your heart in light of your word? Please share with us here.