Many of you are just like me in that you long to hear God’s voice. At times I have felt like my life has been a perpetual process of limping along between destinations that have been revealed through the Spirit. It goes like this; God speaks, sometimes I listen, when I do listen, sometimes I obey. The past year has been a beautiful process for me as God has led me out of a season of depression into new health in every area of my life. I am in a better place emotionally, relationally and spiritually. My family life is great, my ministry is challenging me in new ways and my love affair with God is strong and stable. Our church has entered into a time of major transition as our lead pastor retired early due to health issues and throughout it all God has continued to faithfully bring me into a new season full of hope and opportunity.
This year at the youth workers connection we were encouraged to come before God asking for a word that would define our 2012. It was a twist on a new years resolution that places God at the center of our focus for the next year. Everyone wanted a good word. I was longing for something like hope…or growth…anything that spoke of a really easy year. I got endure. At first I chose to believe that I hadn’t really heard from God and that endure was something I had made up in my head. So I took a deep breath, whispered some of my favorite Psalms that Ioften use to center myself on God and listened again.
God spoke that word to my heart and in that moment I knew that like it or not this was my word. When you get a word like endure, you immediately assume that rough roads are ahead. Why would God give me a word like endure just when everything was going so well? Can’t a guy catch a break? I went back to my hotel that night and looked it up on my phone.
I went to sleep that night quietly arguing with God about the fairness of the road I will be traveling throughout the next 12 months. In the morning I woke up to the realization that God would walk that road with me. If God were asking me to endure then God would empower me to do it. If the Spirit was giving me warning about difficulty ahead, then that same Spirit would encourage me when I feel like giving up. To endure is to trust in the sovereignty of God even when our circumstances seem as if they are out of control. What is your word for 2012? We don’t get to choose what they are, but we do get to choose what we do with them once they have been entrusted to us. I rest in the promise of Jesus from John14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.