For the past few years, I have sworn off New Year’s resolutions. Not because I think they’re a bad idea, but because someone once told me to pick one word. Not a list, but one single word that will define your new year, because it’s much easier to keep up with one word than a whole list of resolutions.
In 2017, my word was peace. In a year where I would leave the USA for the first time, start a job, finish my exams, and manage to get my Masters degree, peace was just what I needed. And I found it…and then lost it (my fault)…and then found it again.
Through it all, the biggest thing I learned was that peace, true peace that comes only from God, is really just a whisper away. It’s amazing and it’s completely insane and I don’t think I could ever explain it well enough to do it justice, but there is something so incredible and so humbling about being able to literally say the name of Jesus and feel a peace in your soul that tells you He is there. He has always been there.
Even in the struggles and the moments where it seems like you take one hit after another, the peace that can be found in the presence of the Holy Spirit remains steadfast. The key is not God giving His peace to you because He did that long, long ago. You have to accept it. You have to choose it. You have to trust Him.
Thinking of this new year and what my word would be for 2018, I began praying…because as much as I like to think otherwise I really don’t know anything about what this next year will hold, but God does. He’s already laid out each day with more care and more love than I could ever deserve. And that’s when I was reminded of part of a devotion I read a few months back:
“Linger with me.”
So as I continued praying about what my word should be, it was as if God kept reminding me of this little sentence and then one word started popping up…
Abide: to wait for…to accept without objection…to remain stable…to continue in a place…to conform to…to dwell…to stay or live somewhere...
In 2018, I want to wait for my Jesus and for His perfect timing. I want to “stand still and see the great thing the Lord is about to do before my eyes.” (1 Samuel 12:16, Psalm 27:13-14, Psalm 130:5)
I want to believe and trust with all my heart that God is exactly who He says He is. I want to accept without objection that freedom and forgiveness and grace can be found through Christ because of a love too great to understand. (John 3:16-17, Romans 8:2, 1 John 4:10)
I want to remain in His love, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High God, to linger in His presence, to rest in His promises, and to seek his peace and hope and joy in every moment. (Psalm 91:1, Romans 8:28, John 15:9, Ephesians 3:16-19)
I want to live the life He has called me to live, becoming more and more like Him with each passing day. (Ephesians 2: 10, Romans 12:2)
In a life full of brokenness and uncertainty and so much darkness, I want to abide in the One who shines so brightly the darkness disappears. The One who redeems and restores the broken. The One who speaks life and shows grace to every child He created. The One whose power is unmatched and whose presence is as steadfast as His love.
I want to abide in God–reverently, wholeheartedly, intentionally–as He so lovingly and faithfully abides in me.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” – John 15:4