“God’s work in you is a process, not an event. It progresses not in three or four huge moments, but in ten thousand little moments of change.”Paul David Tripp, “New Morning Mercies,” page December 31; Crossway Publishing
Here we are on the brink of saying goodbye to one year and ushering in a new one. This is the time when many people make resolutions for change in the new year, seeking to have a better life. Unfortunately, these resolutions typically fail within the first weeks let alone the first months. I am not a person who makes New Year’s resolutions because I have found that, for me, in the end, I have resolved to not make any lasting change of real value. Instead, I choose a “one-word” that I will focus on for the next full year.
Choosing a “one-word” requires a commitment to research it, study it, and pray over it throughout the year. When I choose my word, I write it in my day planner for each week and then I look up Bible verses that correlate with my word and I write them under my word each week too. I keep a journal about my one word, and what I learn as I study it. I pray asking God to show me where in my life I am missing what this word is telling me. Day after day, week after week I search the pages of my Bible looking to see what God has to show me about this word and how I can incorporate it into my life to enrich my walk on this earth. As I do this week after week, I begin to look forward to the next research session to see what God has for me. I find myself thinking throughout the day about my word and what I have learned so far and I begin to see it in relation to my life.
Does this avenue of “change” really work? Yes! It has for me. Why? Because I believe that real change happens in the pages between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22 of the Bible. The more you dive into those pages the more you get to know your Creator. The more you get to know your Creator the more change He brings to your heart. The more change He brings to your heart, the more you begin to walk in the way He has planned for you – in the purpose that He designed you for. However, remember that these are daily changes, small changes over long periods of time. It is not a “ta-da” moment when you immediately become what you want to become. Think of this process as a treasure hunt. It takes time and research. It takes travel and lots of reading and journal writing. It takes wisdom and knowledge. In Proverbs 2:3-8 God tells us to “Search for insight and understanding as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” This treasure will be found between the pages of Genesis and Revelation and through prayer.
Right now, as I write this blog, I am sitting in the quiet of the morning on my lanai looking out on the pond, watching nature awaken. It is peaceful and quiet (save for the squawking bird across the pond). It is the perfect scenario for me to say goodbye to one year and hello to another. You see, my word for this last year was “peace” and my new word for this next year is “Be Still.” Okay, I know technically it’s two words, but think “quiet” if that bothers you. At this very moment, I am enjoying that inner peace as I survey God’s creation, sitting still before God as I listen for Him to speak through the pages of His Word. “Peace” has been a wonderful friend this last year! During many times of chaos, when I typically would have been anxious, there was a deep inner peace that ruled my soul instead. What I’ve learned about peace will now stay with me as I continue my walk in life. In choosing my new word, I know God has been calling me to slow down, lay my hands down, and be quiet before Him. I have allowed my plate to become so full; so busy that I have sacrificed my one-on-one time with Him. My quiet mornings with Him have become quick, distracted moments of Bible reading and quickly finding answers to Bible Study questions, instead of just being still and listening for His voice to speak as I take the time to search His Word for meaning and understanding. So, “Be Still” is my focus for the new year. What would your one word be? Will you join me, not in making a New Year’s resolution, but in committing to search for treasure that will change your life? Let me know what your “one-word” choice will be and let’s see what change God has in store for us over the next 365 days. Happy New Year, friends!