I heard from the Lord last January (2019) that quiet would be a word he brought up in my life over and over again for the year. Now if you know me, you know that quiet is a word NO ONE would use to describe me. So what was quiet going to look like from me? For me? Over the year, it looked the most like my reflection time, my processing, and my prayers being quiet. The Lord and I held some things so close. I didn’t have many stories that felt light enough to write about here.
Our 2019 was filled with joy but also filled with Josh battling a chronic illness, having surgery, and ending the year in bed 10 days with the flu. It was filled with yes’s that felt hard, like ending our time with Cru Campus Ministry, and following God’s leading in our lives to work with the Jesus Film Project. It was filled with me stepping into a volunteer role at my kid’s school and being busier than in years past. In many ways, I went quiet. (Except when talking on the phone to my people… I will never quit talking… impossible.)
As 2020 marched towards us, we began talking and praying about what was in store for us this year. And for the first time, Josh chose a word for himself and it speaks straight to my heart as well!
verb. to care for or look after; give one’s attention to.
Our lives need tending. Josh and I can sense God inviting us to care well for every area of our lives. Our spiritual lives, our home, our family, our church, our friendships, and our health just to name a few areas.
We both sense Jesus inviting us into a year of saying yes to our own limits. This is exciting as we look at all thats on the horizon for 2020. Hopefully it means that we can say next December, that we did indeed trust Jesus for a well-cared for life. It makes me think of 2 Peter, where I’ve been reading this week, as I spend time with Jesus.
3 Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. 4 As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world.
Faith’s Ladder of Virtue
5 So devote yourselves to lavishly supplementing your faith with goodness, and to goodness add understanding, 6 and to understanding add the strength of self-control, and to self-control add patient endurance, and to patient endurance add godliness,7 and to godliness add mercy toward your brothers and sisters, and to mercy toward others add unending love.
8 Since these virtues are already planted deep within, and you possess them in abundant supply, they will keep you from being inactive or fruitless in your pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately. 9 But if anyone lacks these things, he is blind, constantly closing his eyes to the mysteries of our faith, and forgetting his innocence—for his past sins have been washed away.
I am so thankful that everything I need to care for my life and family well is already deposited within me through the gift of the Holy Spirit. His promises will be our manna for the year. And our unfolding faith walk this year can be certain to look like an emergence of goodness, unfolding to understanding of God, unfolding to the strength of self control, unfolding to patient endurance, unfolding to godliness, unfolding to mercy and love.
So often I think of those virtues existing outside of me. How kind of the Lord to remind me that they are actually planted deep within. Not by my own earning, striving, performing or perfecting, but given as a free gift of grace by the death and resurrection of God’s own Son. A mantra of mine – My part – walk by faith. God’s Part – Everything else.
Christ in us. The hope of glory.
I would love to know what your ‘word’ is this year if you want to leave a comment and share!