Often, I sit down to write with only an open heart and a belief that God will meet me. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to share, perhaps something that has been stirring in me for a while. Other times, I put my fingers on the keyboard and simply whisper, “You do it, Lord.” So here I am … You do it, Lord.
2016 has been a year of unexpected surprises for me in so many ways. I cannot count the blessings and the challenges of this “Sweet 16” year. At the end of each year, I typically enjoy reviewing the annual word the Lord gives me in January. This year’s word was HOPE … The Year of the Turnaround. (Click here to read it.)
Whew. Allow me to pause right there.
Beloved, whether you could see it in the midst of your pain or not, 2016 has been THE YEAR OF THE TURNAROUND! I have a vision in my mind’s eye of an enormous cruise liner on the ocean. I can see it turning … 180 degrees … and beginning to move in a different direction. I also see that it takes WORK to get that massive vessel pointed in the right direction. I want to tell someone today that YOU HAVE DONE WELL! Yes, it was painful. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was miserable at times. But Beloved, THE TURNAROUND IS HERE!!! There will be a beautiful reward for all of your hard work. Your vessel is moving FORWARD towards the destination and assignment of God in your life. You have weathered the storms! You have fought the good fight of faith! You have made the necessary adjustments. And now you can focus on what lies ahead. Oh Beloved … this year HAS been all about HOPE.
Here is the tricky thing about HOPE … as we transition from a place of despair, disappointment, frustration, impatience, etc. into a season of truly abiding in HOPE, we often miss the beauty of the shift. And that is okay. It is comparable to a pregnancy – the back aches, the swollen ankles, the nausea, the inability to get comfortable or rest deeply at times – yet, when that baby comes, all of the pain is washed away in one moment of ecstatic HOPE. There is suddenly hope for a future that is very different from the past. Even in pregnancy, you know what is coming and you know when it is coming, but there is still no way to tangibly experience the reality of that HOPE until the moment – the birthing – the baby – actually arrives.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12
I want to encourage some people during this final month of “Sweet 16.” The dream and desire of your heart WILL come to pass, and when it does, you will only be able to say, “It was worth the wait.” I see some sick hearts reading this, meaning the heart has grown weary in waiting and well-doing. I see some people who have been desperately struggling to keep their heads above the water this year. I see some people who have wanted to give up and throw in the towel. The good news is that you chose to wave the white flag of surrender instead. Whether you realize it or not, you chose well. You did not give up, you did not back down, and you did not lose faith. In fact, you became more aware of your strength and courage in the process. Beloved, it takes RADICAL COURAGE to live a life of faith in Christ. It is not always easy to trust and wait on the Lord. Yet, I have discovered that when I choose Him above ALL else – when it makes no sense to my natural mind and when it seems to utterly destroy my heart and soul – I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS come out as gold on the other side. Always. It is the very nature of God, in His indescribable goodness, to “help” us die to our carnal selves and become truly alive in Him. Oh, how “sweet” it is.
So in that regard, I admonish the Bride of Christ to be thankful this month. The Lord has been saying to me, “This will be a December to remember.” Thank Him in advance for the things you cannot see. The sweetness of 2016 is not over just yet!
October ushered in a new year on the Hebrew calendar … year 5777. The Lord began to speak to me about this special year in 2012, and I am watching as He perfectly aligns us with His will in this grand year of COMPLETION. Already, we have seen a shift in the political climate in America and around the world. We are watching daily as people wrestle with the NEW things God is doing on a global scale. 5777 will be a JACKPOT year in so many ways. Watch the Lord continue to move in and around you over the next ten months. You will truly feel like you have hit the JACKPOT. You will feel more BLESSED than you have in years. Your love tank and bank account will be FULL! Oh Beloved, only believe!!! The timing and ways of the Lord are PERFECT and HOLY. He is RIGHTEOUS and TRUE. He makes NO mistakes, and His plans are GOOD GOOD GOOD. As we mature in Him, we begin to understand Him a little more. When we pass through the raging rivers and fiery trials, we learn to EMBRACE Him rather than reject Him. When we ask Him for help and desire to know Him in every situation and circumstance, we grow in our ability to trust Him. Through it all, we ultimately become more like Him. That, Beloved, is what it is all about. Becoming more like Christ, in all things and at all times. THAT is the jackpot. HE is the jackpot!
God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? – Numbers 23:19
December is ushering in a JACKPOT year in 2017. Some things are coming to completion. A fresh hope will be revealed. A new excitement and enthusiasm will bubble up inside of you. I can feel it now, even as I write.
The Lord is funny in His confirmations. 2016 has been very sweet in so many ways. Even in the challenges, there has been a sweetness. In October, I moved into a new office space … and it “happens” to be “SUITE 16.” Beloved, thank Him for His sweetness this month. Have an attitude of gratitude … for all of it … the good, the bad, the ugly, and the awesome. NOTHING is wasted in the kingdom of God.
Yesterday, I randomly found myself singing an old Guns ‘n Roses song, Patience. I added the song to the 2016 playlist on my site, if you want to listen to it here. The part I was singing yesterday says, “All we need is just a little patience.” That’s the word for December, Beloved … Be patient. The best is yet to come!
Here is one of my favorite movie clips regarding patience … Evan Almighty: Pray for the Opportunity
Peace, Blessings, and a MERRY, HOPEFUL, PATIENT CHRISTmas to you and yours!