As 2009 came to a close and I began to think about 2010 I found myself at a loss as to what my new word for the year would be. Our pastor has challenged us for the past several years to ask God to give us a specific word that He would use over the course of the next year to frame our lives. My words for 2008 (word) and 2009 (dwell) both came out of Colossians 3:16:
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
In fact, this has truly become my favorite verse because it talks on my passions & strengths so perfectly. I love spending time in God's Word and digging into it. My gifts are teaching and encouragement and I love to sing as well! So naturally, I looked at this verse for my word from God for 2010. I looked at each word and asked God, "Is this the one?" But honestly, I felt no special leading from Him. I had no clue. He was silent on the subject.
Unsettling as it was, I did my best to wait patiently. It would be great to have richly be my word...it means abundant. I like the sound of it, too. Or, how about singing? I love to sing my heart out for The Lord, and it has been awhile since I have sung due to my season in life. Oh, please let it be singing! Or wisdom? I'm really tired right now, but sure I could use more wisdom in my life.
On Monday January 11, I read this in a book called Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:
When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My Promises.
There it was - my word and it is in Colossians 3:16! Thankfulness. Not a spectacular or unique word, but a word that I knew was for me. Confirmation of this came on Tuesday January 12. I was packing my 10 year old daughter for the trip of a life time. She and her dad were to board a plane a mere 12 hours later for Port-au-Prince, Haiti. They would take a long bus drive to New Missions about an hours drive away and spend the next 3 days passing out Christmas shoe box gifts to thousands of children in need. They might even get to do ministry in a local high school. My daughter was over the moon with excitement to be a missionary for the first time.
If you are following the news you know that as I packed her bags to go, an earthquake measuring 7.0 hit this exact spot. Thousands have lost their lives, are homeless and hungry. I was overcome by the thought, "thank me for answers that I have set into motion." I did not even think to pray, "Keep them safe from earthquakes..." But God had thankfully already set that answer into motion.
I am not by any means a theologian. I have no answer to the question 'why was my family spared and so many others not?' But I am and will remain thankful for God's mercy in sparing them from this tragedy.
Looking forward thankfully,
P.S. If you would like to get involved in helping the people of Haiti, I highly recommend this wonderful ministry. You can follow the link below and give the gift of rice, medical equipment, rebuilding vital structures or sponsor a child.