As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just a Word

Around the middle of December, I start praying and asking the Lord for a new word, some phrase, statement, or verse to serve as a foundation for my thinking and actions for the next year.

This year I really didn’t want to ask. Honestly, I haven’t been sure how well I’m hearing God, and I am tired. The idea of meditating on, absorbing, and fighting for a passage of scripture or some deep revelation or promise left me a crumpled heap on the floor. I really did not have the gumption to be a warrior racing into next year sword raised and expectations high. I really wanted to slide into the New Year curled up under my warm blankets, sheets over my head, quiet, and unnoticed.

So I hid in my spiritual closet. No, not my prayer closet. My hiding closet. The one I go to when I really don’t want to talk to God and I really don’t want Him to talk to me. The problem is He is the biggest nag in the world, and He has no problem with closed doors. He stands and knocks and knocks and knocks. Or in my case, slips little notes under the door in forms of phrases in dreams or thoughts that float through my head or the time that keeps showing up on the digital clocks or…I’m telling you. God is a nag. And if small notes under the door don’t work, He’ll send someone to talk to me, someone I like, someone I like to talk to, someone I look forward to. Someone like Alece Ronzino.

Then last week I was actually reading updates on Facebook when I saw a post by Alece. I like Alece. I like her writing. And God knows that.

In her post, Alece said she asked God for one word for next year. One word. One thing that she could use as a compass for her actions, for the way she lived, for her focus. Just one thing because surely she could do one thing.

One thing.

Surely I can do one thing.

“God, do you have one thing?”

Instantly, I had the word.

In the next instant, all those little notes God had been slipping under my door became more than random words. They became a command, an encouragement, and a promise.

My word: Courage

The scripture: Joshua 1:9—“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The door had been flung open. The Lord stood in the doorway. He spoke clearly, and I listened.

Courage.
Courage to believe for great things…anyway.
Courage to live as though those great things already are.
Courage to get outside your comfort zone.
Courage to do whatever you fear.
Courage to be the person you’ve always been,
the person I know you are, the unaltered version of you.
Courage to leave every hint of boxes behind.
Courage to believe you are all I say you are and can do all I say you can do.”

A word.
One word…but because it’s HIS word, it means everything.

5 comments:

Kristi D said...

Jerri,

I love this! I have been praying for a word or vision for 2011, and am still listening and waiting. I loved what God showed me in January of this year, and He was more than faithful to bring it about. I might write about it... Love to you, sister!

Kristi

Alece said...

i love this, jerri! i love hearing the pilgrimage God took your heart on to get you to your word. and courage? wow. such a powerful word that conjures up all kinds of strong mental images. it doesn't matter that you don't have the "gumption to be a warrior racing into the year sword raised". doing it afraid is courage at its best.

courage. you've got this, friend. you've got this.

cause He's got you.

Alece said...

i totally thought i came over and commented already!! is it stuck in moderation? or get eaten somewhere in cyberspace?!

Jerri Phillips said...

Alece, okay that was incredibly weird. You had commented, and I had published it. Then I tried to publish both of your comments, and it wouldn't let me log on. So, I linked over from your first comment. It let me publish from the email, and then kicked me out. Then it wouldn't let me log on again, so I had to go through the second publish link. Then it let me stay logged on. VERY weird.

Jerri Phillips said...

Kristi, write it up! We need to hear it! One thing I remember loudly from the Relevant conference in October was Ann Voskamp saying, "We need to hear your story." We need you to write it because our souls, our hearts need to hear it.

Alece, thank you, my friend! I am excited...peacefully, joyously, wondrously excited. We are going to have an exciting year!