Last year, I chose a word for the first time. The Lord impressed upon me the word Journey for 2013. When I decided on that word, I thought it had to do with my writing career, and I think it did to an extent. But my son’s mission to Africa has taken focal point for all of our family since he committed to the mission last April. By then, I’d completely forgotten about my word. So when I looked it up again last week to prepare for this article, the word shook me to my roots.
God knew the hard journey all of us would take with my son’s departure and his challenges in his villages of Côte d’Ivoire. I had no clue of the challenges, but He knew and prepared us for them.
So this year, I thought I would use the word, Hope as my focus. But as I researched the word, I changed my mind.
Hope has a big IF in the meaning. “I hope that I’ll publish a novel,” or “I hope I can win the contest I entered.” It gives a negative aroma to the word.
But I learned that the spiritual word, Hope, doesn’t have the IF aspect. The word, when used in the Bible relates waiting. Full stop – waiting? When I think about that, my mind goes to the negative elements of waiting. I swear, half of my life is spent waiting and not in a good way.
- grocery lines
- publishing patience
- for phone calls
- for kids
So first I have to deal with the big ifs and then with waiting. This word wasn’t giving me much to “Hope” for, if you know what I mean.
As I further investigated, I found that the waiting has the feel of expectation, assurance. What I’m waiting for will happen. Just like the Messiah would come.
If God ordains it, He will make a way. This was the theme, and a prominent line, in the musical “Two From Galilee” that I and my family performed in earlier this month. That line has stayed with me for weeks. In fact, it challenged me all year long 2013 since we did the same musical last Christmas.
“Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
This hope-type of waiting isn’t the patient-building waiting that traffic and lines are. This is the happy anticipation that the task is already completed and the Lord will reveal it at the perfect time. Still, that word, in my own mind, sparks a giant question mark. I can’t get past the If-factor that the word has come to bear.
So my word for 2014 isn’t hope. My word gives a more positive twist toward the true meaning of the scriptural word. ANTICIPATION is my 2014 word. Of the revelation of God’s plans for my career, my effectiveness, even the future of my children and my family. And to that end, I’ll be ready and prepared for what the Lord brings. Like a farmer preparing his field for rain under a cloudless sky.
Your Turn: What word has God impressed upon your heart this year?