Several years ago I began the tradition of choosing one special word at the start of a new year. Actually, it’s not so much about me choosing the word—it’s the word I believe God gives me.
One year the word was “joy.” Oh my—I learned a lot about counting difficult experiences as opportunities for joy (James 1:2-4) and about finding my joy in the Lord rather than in circumstances. It gave me a crystal clear focus for my personal and spiritual growth.
My 2016 word was “great.” God did indeed do some great things. Here are two examples:
- He enabled me to continue losing weight (57 pounds now), keep it off, and develop a new mindset about food, exercise, and caring for my body as His temple. To me, the transformation is nothing short of a great thing.
- He allowed me the privilege of training rural church leaders and pastors in Nepal. And He quickened my ears and tongue so I could recall enough Nepalese language to have basic conversations with those who couldn’t speak English. I lived there from 1982-85 but never became fluent. To recall enough language to speak with these people now was, to me, “great.”
For 2017, my one word is “see.” Here are a few thoughts that it brings to mind.
- Stay alert. See where God’s working and get involved with Him there.
- See people through His eyes rather than through my skewed perception.
- See difficult circumstances as He does—as opportunities to discover Him more intimately.
- See past my own needs to become more aware of others’ needs.
- See failure as the back door to success.
- See the completion of my new book and Bible study.
- See God provide volunteers and funding for our ministry.
- See answers to prayer on behalf of various family members.
These are just my thoughts, and I’ll be watching to “see” how they align with God’s intention for giving me this word. I believe it will be helpful to make a list of Bible verses that encourage us to “see,” “watch” or “look.” It could be a fascinating study.
How about you? Do you have a special word for the new year? If so, what is it?