“Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long wish list of goals you probably won’t remember three weeks from now. Choose just one word. One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long…If you let it, your one word will shape you, and your year ahead. It will help guide your decisions and help you grow. Discover the impact one word can make.”
I read these words on the One Word website and whilst I was immediately struck with what a great idea this would be for me personally, it was with great hesitation I pursued the idea any further. “God, are you sure?”. After all, the idea of using a word or a phrase to define or sum up the year ahead is not new. Churches love to have a word to define the upcoming year: the “year of breakthrough”, the “year of favour”, the “year of hope”, the “year of honour”…yeah, I think you get the idea…and I didn’t want it to seem like I was just copying a good idea!
So I guess you could say was a bit dubious. And
a little bit very reluctant. But immediately, one word came to mind. It was a word I had just read in a Crossfit blog that I coudn’t seem to get out of my mind. Then, two days later as I sat in church, Ps Tim Hall opened his message with Daniel 11:36, which says: “The people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits for God”. At that moment my word was confirmed and I knew God was speaking to me.
My word for 2013 is strength.
Strength: 1. The state or quality of being strong.
Strong: 1. Having a force of character, will, morality or intelligence. 2. Having a force of conviction or uncompromising feelings. 3. Having the capacity to withstand force. 4. Solid, tough, firm. 5. Not feeble, faint, fearful or faithless. 6. Not easily defeated or captured. 7. Having strength or power greater than average or greater than what is expected.
As I received this word from God, I immediately had to remind myself that this “one word” concept isn’t supposed to act as a constant reminder about what I should be “doing” but rather about what I should be “being” in 2013. This one word is meant to inspire me to live the life God wants me to live. God knows the plans and purposes for my life. And they are good plans. They are plans to prosper me and not to harm me. They are plans that will give me hope and a future. And they are plans of strength.
I am also reminded that choosing just one word is about being authentic. This one word has to represent and reflect me. Choosing just one word isn’t about choosing the “right” word and therefore it shouldn’t become a tedious exercise in over-analysis. My word already resonates with me on a deeper level than other people might understand, even if they were to have been given the same word, so I’m not going to make a list of possible words and whittle it down until I get my word. This is it. Strength. The state of being strong.
Isaiah 40:31 is one of those verses often found printed on t-shirts, bookmarks, posters and coffee mugs – usually underneath the photo of a soaring American Eagle or a photo of a back-lit runner in full flight. It’s one of ‘those’ verses. The ones all Christians should memorize.
“…those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
As I read this verse today, I saw it through fresh eyes and I realized why my one word for 2013 is strength.
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
Trust = Strength. New strength.
As I have (re)committed my life during this year to trusting God day to day I have found new (and renewed) strength. I have discovered strength I didn’t know I had. I read back over my blog journey and my observation is that I write with force of character, will and conviction. I write with strength. I am uncompromising when it comes to sharing my beliefs, thoughts and opinions. I no longer write from the viewpoint of being feeble, faint, fearful and faithless. I have found within me a power greater than what I expected. Strength.
Day to day I have trusted in God and I have found that I am indeed strong.
As I continue to write about my journey over this next season, I’m excited about the one word God has placed in my heart and dropped in my lap for 2013.
“And I will trust in the Lord forever: for in the Lord God is everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:4)