It’s Monday afternoon and quiet rules my house. Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. After the busyness of Christmas and New Year’s, it feels good to sit in silence, reflect on the year past, and ponder what’s to come.
Each year at this time, I ask the Lord to give me a special theme or word for the next 12 months. This year He’s given me joy.
I don’t consider myself a very sophisticated person. That’s to say, I find joy in life’s simple pleasures: a baby’s giggles, snuggling with my grandkids, receiving hugs from my grown kids, cuddling with my husband of nearly 30 years, seeing the sunrise or sunset paint its pinks and oranges across the sky, enjoying a coffee chat with good friends, striking an item off my to-do list, knowing that something I’ve written or said has encouraged someone.
I also find joy in reading God’s Word, especially when a verse leaps off the page and connects with my life at that moment in time.
As I ponder joy and how it relates to me in 2012, I think of Psalm 16:11 – “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever “(NASB). The NLT says, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
Life offers oodles of small pleasures, but nothing brings joy like experiencing God’s presence moment by moment. As 2012 dawns, I’m asking Him to make me more aware of His presence. Whether I’m washing dishes, running errands, exercising at the gym, playing with my grandkids, speaking at a women’s event, or traveling overseas for yet another ministry trip, I want to be aware of His presence in and around me. I want to be sensitive to His whispers, in tune with His desires, and in touch with His heartbeat. Constant, sweet communion with the divine – therein lies joy.
I enter 2012 with a sense of anticipation, excited about what’s to come and eager to experience the joy that Scripture promises.
And while we’re talking about joy, here’s a song on the same theme: “Exceeding Joy.” Take a few minutes to listen and let the words direct your heart into an attitude of worship.
Question: What word or theme has God given you for 2012?
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God impressed upon my heart the word “closer” for 2012. I have not done this before…chosen a word for the year. But this one kept coming into my sight line and God seemed to be saying he wants to draw me closer this year, so I can know him better and find all the treasures he has for me. One of the treasures he showed me is that by trusting him and affirming that trust often I will be closer to him. There is so much in life for which we are better if we TRUST our Maker. I want to be a learner.
“Closer” — a great word for the New Year! The other day as I pondered my special word, I realized that God isn’t necessarily promising good/easy times ahead. He might want me to experience joy in the midst of tough times, too. No matter what lies ahead in 2012, I choose to know joy. Your word is somewhat similar. Sometimes closeness develops through hard times. No matter what the future holds for you–whether smooth sailing or a few rough waters–you’ll experience ever-increasing closesness with Jesus. Be blessed!