It’s here and I can hardly believe it.
Part of me wants to go back, to go back to 2017 and say, “Wait! Stop! You weren’t what you were supposed to be!”
But isn’t that exactly why it’s good to start fresh with a new year?
So here we go. Clean slate. 12 months stretching out in front of me filled with unknowns.
And for the first time, the very first time, I’ve chosen a word for this year. I didn’t spend hours on my face to get my word (though I love those of you who did), and I didn’t wrestle with a list of words to choose the perfect one (though I wouldn’t put that past me next year). I just…chose it. Claimed it as my word-of-the-year, spoke it into existence. Which really is the essence of my word anyway. This speaking something into existence, this pulsing hope that what we speak creates what we experience…
Life to everything. Life to what has died. Life to what I’ve mourned. Life to what looked hopeless. Life to relationships, to passions, to dreams, to visions, to people, to destiny, to miracles, to the Bride of Christ. Life to what has not yet been created but is already burning inside the heart of God to entrust to His people.
Life. Oh don’t you just ache for it? Can you sense with me the urgent pressing of new growth under the soil of winter, pushing with all its might to crack through the cold, crusty, barren ground, longing to spring forth with its valiant message of, “Alive, I’m alive, and I’m growing into something beautiful!”
And so it is with me. The soil of disappointment, of delay, of weakness, of failure have covered my head, but I refuse to die down here. The life of Christ is alive within me, and it is awakening something inside of me…it is awakening Life. Life to the FULL. (see John 10:10)
I can’t see it yet. I don’t know how it’s going to work out, and gosh if it isn’t a temptation to turn away from the hope of Life so that disappointment won’t cut me down again. But isn’t this the Christ-life anyway? This life of looking in the face of discouragement and despair, and yelling like a crazy person, “[I] know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God!” (Romans 8:28, NLT) Because if we really believe in that everything, well then screaming it in the face of opposition really isn’t crazy at all.
And trust me (actually, no…trust God), this is a promise you can believe in. You can let your roots go down so so deep into this promise because it’s true, and it’s for YOU. You…you lover of God, you who have fought for your faith all through 2017 and the years that led up to then and the hours that led up to now. You love Him and you’re HIS, and that love you have reflects only a tiny little bit of the rapturous Love He has for you, a Love that sent His very own Son to deliver us from our sin. Oh my goodness, can you imagine? What greater Love is there? So really, truly, think about it: “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Romans 8:32, NLT
If that’s not a declaration of Life, I don’t know what is.
Cling to it with me, would you? These promises…oh, they are the very food of our faith, the very LIFE within our veins, the very foundation that we stand firmly upon when the winds howl and the storms blow and the ground around us shakes uncontrollably. For these promises are the infallible, unchanging nature of our God, the very God who Loves each and every one of us to the same degree that He Loves His own Son (see John 17:23 – amazing).
So if all this doesn’t give me hope for Life – new life (Rom. 5:18), life ever springing up within me (John 4:14), life in the face of death (Eph. 2:4-5; John 11:25-26), life breathed into the cracked bones of dreams and people that seem hopelessly lost (Ezek. 37:4-10) – then nothing will!
Oh friends. Can we band together as people of LIFE this year? I’m so tired of death, and I know it’s not what the Lord has ordained for His people. This year, no matter what we face, let’s speak, dream, believe, and be LIFE!!!