God knows I am a slow and distracted learner. Because I process information in a somewhat haphazard fashion, and because I'm so quick to forget what I learn, He simplifies the process ~ with one word.
The past few years, I have intentionally sought His "one word" for me ~ to meditate on and to implement in my life. When a new word quickens my spirit, I add it to the others. Slowly, each word gets lovingly woven into me, a work that only God can do.
HOPE. This word came to me at a time when I didn't understand its significance. I felt hopeful. But there it was. HOPE. I found every verse I could that covered my "one word" and wrote them down. I meditated, memorized, and prayed my way through HOPE. Gradually, I began to see areas ~ circumstances ~ where I had given up hope. What felt hopeless began to rise to the surface. It was a painful process as each became magnified in my mind and heart. And I discovered what it meant to cling to my own word, HOPE.
TRUST brought its own set of life lessons. Let me just say, when God is teaching us to trust, it isn't when we are cruising down easy street or tucked cozy inside our comfort zone. Trust comes when we climb rugged terrains, face giants we've cowered from, and watch people we love most wrestle with their own unknowns and sorrows. TRUST ~ what God revealed to me about this "one word" is how it begins and ends with a cross...trust. If I'm not seeing Him present from beginning to end, I cannot let go and trust. But oh, the freedom and exhilaration I have experienced during those rare moments when I close my eyes, unclench my fists, breathe in deep, and TRUST.
THANK. It wasn't until I became focused on this "one word" that I began to realize what it means to live in a thankful mindset. I can harp and complain and dwell on each and every problem and frustration. This comes so easily for me! But to stop and thank God ~ no matter what ~ in good times and bad, knowing He is always good and the Giver of all that is good? This changes me! It transforms my thought life, soothes my spirit, and heals my heart. In ALL things give THANKS. It's not only possible, its powerful!
PRAY. This is the "one word" I received at the start of the year. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. PRAY? I do this! Boy, do I do this. I felt chided, like my prayer life wasn't enough, and didn't meet God's standards. But my initial response proved wrong. PRAY ~ entering into God's presence, sharing every burden and care, talking through each circumstance, covering many...MANY... people and seeing Him respond...Wow! PRAY. What a privilege. What a joy! It has become my favorite "one word".
And now, a new word pierces me. WAIT. Oh boy, this one does not sit well. So many unknowns and decisions loom before us. I want to know the direction we are taking. I yearn to settle and nest and know where my home is. And as I pray, I am hit with this "one word". WAIT. Not only during my prayer time, but just about every message I read repeats the same refrain...WAIT!
Have you ever asked God for a word? May I encourage you? He longs to meet us where we are... yearns to teach and guide and encourage us. One word. It might change everything. I know. They are transforming me, "one word" at a time.
Copyright 2015 by Julie Cowell. All rights reserved.
"How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" ~Psalm 119:103 NIV
"Everything starts with one step, or one brick, or one word..." ~Jeremy Gilley