For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)
Happy new year and decade! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, with lots of family time, worship of our Savior, laughs, games, blessed gatherings, and celebrations of all types.
Do you ever have so much on your mind that you can’t quite put it all into words? That’s how I feel today. With a fresh year and decade starting, I’m nearly speechless. (I said nearly, y’all, so we’re OK.)
No better way to start than to just . . . begin.
For the last few years, I’ve set a certain word as my focus word for the year. My word for 2019 was “Now!”. As in, “write the book now“. Have I finished it yet? Nope.
It isn’t that I forgot or that I relaxed my obedience to the Lord. Writing, for me, comes in waves that bring a flood. It has always been that way. I know when it’s the Lord pouring into me because He floods me with words to say – like a fire hose spraying water at me. It feels urgent, and I must get the words on paper (or computer) immediately. The urgency I feel is part of the knowing it’s from Him. Until it ends. Or pauses.
When a specific writing flood pauses, I know God has something else for me before we can continue. In early November, I thought the word for this year might be “Finish!”. In one sense, not finishing the book felt like disobedience on the surface. Not finishing was intentional. The pause had (and still has) God’s purpose in it. He has taken me through many focused studies into His Word after pausing the book writing early last year.
What have I learned through the pause so far?
I discovered healing I didn’t know I needed, emotional and spiritual healing. The obvious healing we pray for is physical, and the Lord poured out His healing in amazing ways there, too.
Praise God! He has definitely given me physical healing. Yes, I still have MS and lung cancer (and will from now on, short of a huger miracle than I’ve already seen).
. . . no good thing does he withhold . . .
I am better off today – with a smaller tumor size and no further cancer progression – since the diagnosis two years ago. Oncologists categorized me initially in the “palliative care” category. Not cure. Their goal was to try to extend my life by a year beyond the expected two or three. Really?
But, God . . .
I marvel every day at God’s design in my pain-free state and overall better health. The favor of it. His favor in it.
Praise to our Mighty God!
Yes, things are hard at times, but I’m healthy beyond my imagination thus far.
As for the book writing, God’s timing is perfect. I trust Him to teach me what He intends for me before opening the fire hose again with the final chapters. I continue to study, wait, test-write, and study some more.
With no confirmation of the word finish for 2020, I remained open to other word possibilities.
When I published the post about the Faithfulness Friday Bible Study in 2020 (starting in two days – January 3rd) I wondered if faithfulness might be the word.
Last Sunday, God brought the word “favor” to me. I began pondering the meaning of favor and recognized how I have received God’s favor my entire life and praise Him for it! So, my word for 2020 is borrowed and shared from Dr. Jack Graham.
See his sermon to hear the many varied aspects of the word favor when you have time. I think it is awesome. So meaningful, y’all.For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11) Click To Tweet
Don’t you love God’s sense of humor? In his sermon, Dr. Graham shares a story of favor in 2nd Samuel. I recognized it as another story of God’s faithfulness, fitting right in with the other stories I plan for us to study together this year on Faithfulness Fridays.
Jeffrey and I currently walk alongside friends entering very tough seasons. There is sadness and lament involved in my state of speechlessness today. The word presence came to me during prayer for these friends this morning.
Rather than change my word for 2020 to presence, God impressed upon me . . . a life change rather than just a simple word focus. To be intentional. To be present for those we love who hurt. To walk beside them, with them in the hard seasons.
An intention of presence in which I’m sure to fall short, but I can try. And, still . . . all to God’s glory!
I see presence with others as an extension of the Lord’s faithfulness and favor He has shown me. It’s not the word we choose for focus each year that matters so much. It’s the actions that matter most. Actions that come from the word focus, how it changes us to impact our loved ones’ lives. To love them like Jesus.
Have you chosen a word for 2020? I’d love to hear about it. 🙂
Because He lives~