Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Word for 2012

On the day that the house flooded, I had begun writing a blog about my "word" for 2012.

Most years, God draws me to a word that becomes my focus for the next 12 months. Like the melodic theme of a symphony, this word or idea shows up repeatedly over the course of the year, as God directs my attention to His purposes. The word often speaks to some aspect of Christ's character or to something that the Lord wants to teach me. Throughout the year, as the word pops up in scriptures, in songs, in sermons, or even in day to day conversations, I receive new insights, and I am changed.

I have been on an interesting journey in words. Notice the progression in the words that the Lord has given me in recent years--from "humble" (as in "humble yourselves before the Lord" James 5:10), to "decrease" (as in "He must become greater, I must become less" John 3:30), to "nothing" (as in "your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus...who made Himself nothing." Phil 2:7).

Humble; Decrease; Nothing.

"What comes after 'nothing'?" I asked the Lord.

And I waited for His answer.

As usual, His answer surprised me. It defied my logic. It challenged my thinking. It upset my fruit cart.

My word for 2012 is "Victory".

It seems almost contrary to the direction I have traveled the past few years. Have we turned a corner; or, is this idea of "victory" the next thing in the progression? Jesus made Himself nothing, which resulted in His crucifixion on a cross, which resulted in victory over sin and death. Hmmm.

Humble; Decrease; Nothing; Victory?

I was just about to write this very blog when I received the news that our house flooded. That felt like a defeat, not a victory. I began to wonder if I had heard wrong. Was the word "victory" just wishful thinking on my part? Perhaps I had been mistaken. Maybe the butter had slipped off my noodle. But then I had this thought (or perhaps it was the voice of God): Victory is not about feelings.

Victory is not about feelings. Nor is it about temporary circumstances. Nor is it about me.

Victory belongs to the Lord. He wins it. He lives it. He shares it with His people. It is the reality of my condition because of the grace of God. I cannot earn it. I cannot lose it. I can choose to deny it, or I can graciously embrace it.

Let them praise his name with dancing 

   and make music to him with timbrel and harp. 
For the LORD takes delight in his people; 
   he crowns the humble with victory. 
Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.

Psalm 149:3-5

I can "rejoice in this honor"--the honor of His victory! This year, I hope to learn what that means.


  1. Love it! I love your writing! I'm sure you never imagined that you would have so many ups and downs when you felt the call to go to France. We think our life should be smooth sailing especially if we are serving Him, but Satan has other ideas. He wants us defeated and down to nothing...but through our weakness He brings the Victory!!!!

  2. I love that your word is victory! You can claim that already after the 1 1/2 years in France. Praise God. I always look forward to your word of the year.

  3. At first my word was CALM, as I am learning to breathe in more calm. However, I think God brought me to BLOOM. I need to BLOOM and seek community instead of hiding from it.