“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)
Happy New Year! Please welcome 2014! Out with the old…in with the new! It’s time to make resolutions and plans and exercise programs and budgets and daily readings and goals…I could go on and on and…
Well, you get the picture.
I have been as guilty as you and the rest of humanity regarding ‘new years’ and the plans to make the coming days better than the past ones. But in the last throes of 2013 as I thought and prayed for direction for the coming year, I began to experience a growing sense of dissatisfaction. The old system of resolving to ‘be better’ just hasn’t worked. At. All. It was time for a change.
A new thing…
The previous year was perhaps the most difficult one I’ve ever experienced. So many challenges…I’ll not even attempt to describe the highs and lows. There were many of both, and all the moments in between. But perhaps I can at least clue you in by using the ‘motto’ of my music ministry, Project Onefifty.
If you know me, then you know I dislike the way believers throw around vaunted theological language, especially with people who don’t know Christ. So I resolved long ago to try to use English instead of ‘Christianese’ terms and expressions. When I thought of the work God does in our lives, it seemed to break down into three distinct areas of revelation, redemption, and restoration. I translate them thusly:
Reveal. Redeem. Restore.
I’ll spare you the Sunday School lesson. The important point is that the past year has been these very words made manifest.
It’s been a season of revelations. Not only from God…but He’s revealed things about me and my heart long hidden or ignored by yours truly.
It has not been a fun process. But it has been illuminating…
Along with these difficult moments of revelation, something incredible happened. Redemption! God has extended Grace and Mercy and Love in such vast quantities as to overwhelm my heart. I’m truly thankful for the mercy of forgiveness and the grace that’s been given.
God works miracles and God forgives falls and failures. This past year has seen many. But what preachers don’t always tell you is that some miracles take a long time.
Especially when it comes to part three of the process. Restoration.
All this is just preamble to my One Word for 2014. I’m wrapping up, I promise!
The past year was filled with revelation. I found out just how broken my heart is…how much it needs healing. I lack the courage oftentimes to own the truth of my feelings and fears and the choices I make.
I dance around my own heart like some kind of damaged diplomat. As if emotional détente will heal my broken spirit and create worth from worthlessness.
These revelations have impacted every facet of my life. But the unexpected redemption by God’s own hand is nothing less than miraculous. So undeserving of this grace, but I am so very very thankful.
But I want…no, need the many mistakes to be made right. I need more than revelation and redemption, however miraculous. I need restoration…in every aforementioned facet. My very spirit requires it.
It may be the hardest word ever lived.
But it’s the word that I cannot seem to escape. I can’t settle for anything less than whatever it is God has planned…despite my every effort to seemingly screw it up. I’ll be honest in that choosing this word terrifies me. Because I’ve made every effort to avoid it and run. It’s almost as if this word has chosen me.
So God help me this year…
Father, I thank you for the gift of this day, and the gift of restoration…guide me, Holy Spirit along each step in this path…Jesus, thank you for your Love and Mercy.
Welcome to 2014…a new thing: the Year of Restoration.
Reveal•Redeem•Restore…God is still doing all three
Link to OneWord 365 here