When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
– Isaiah 43:2
Through the deep waters, He’ll be with you. Through the flames, He’s with you. He doesn’t abandon us amidst our fires but instead He holds our hand as He walks through them with us.
There’s no distance that we can wander where He is not with us.
And that’s the guiding reminder that I want to take with me as we begin this new year. To simply be with.
With God, with people, and with the moment.
I want my word for the year to serve as a reminder to be with God, to daily die to myself and my own selfish desires, and to choose Him above all else.
Apart from Jesus, I’m capable of nothing on my own. 2018 brought a lot of situations where I tried to take control. I struggled with giving up the reigns in my life. I didn’t want to completely give up control, but when we’re able to finally come to that point and let go, we’re going to see those walls we’ve been facing for so long start to crumble.
2 Corinthians 3:5 says this: “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” Everything that we are and everything we are yet to be comes from Him. So I pray that daily I’ll remember to consciously choose to spend time with Him: in adoration in His presence.
On the other hand, my word serves as a reminder that regardless of where 2019 takes you, no matter the people that come and go, no matter what life throws your way, He is with you. He is constant. Time and time again throughout the Bible it is written to have no fear, to drop our anxieties and our worries at His feet, because His love is not a wavering love, and He will never leave us. 2019 is bound to have its ups and downs, but choose to leave those fears in 2018 because God’s with you every step of the way this year, regardless of what happens. He’s in control. Tell yourself that every single day if you have to until you can believe it.
I want the word I chose to be a reminder to be with people, to love others like Jesus loves us – even when it’s hard.
Our focus determines our direction in this life, and I can promise you that you’ll find much more satisfaction in loving others a little bit more this year. If I learned anything from 2018, it’s just how important this part of life truly is. There’s a lot to learn about the heart of Jesus when our focus is shifted past our own desires. It’s not easy by any means, but man is it rewarding.
A reminder to be with the moment. Not the one that’s in the past and I can’t change, and not the moment that’s far out of my control in the future. I want to be fully with the moment right in front of me. There’s so much beauty in what we consider the ordinary, and there’s a lot to learn within that.
I found that to be a constant battle of mine in 2018, and it’s something I want to give to God completely this year. I allowed myself to get wrapped up in the chaos of what was next. I felt the need to have a plan for everything: my relationships, my major in school, my future career. It left me anxious and unsatisfied; always looking for something in my future instead of the blessings God was laying right in front of me.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Whatever you find before you in 2019, good or bad, know that it is fleeting, but the glory it produces will last. There is so much freedom that comes in letting go of fear of the future, and focusing on the everyday beauty that God is providing. Rest in knowing that God Himself has already written your story. He knows every chapter, every word, beginning to end. He wrote it, He’ll guide you through it.
There’s something good to be found in every day this year. Focus on the glory you can find in the smallest moments, in every day. I promise you that there’s so much beauty when you stick with God.
1. What are ways that you can challenge yourself to spend more time in these three areas this new year?
2. What are things that are standing between you and that crucial one-on-one time with Jesus? What steps can you take to remove those obstacles this year?
God, we’re amazed by You and Your mighty power. Thank You for loving us with such an intentional love, for writing our stories and for never leaving our side through it all. When all else in this world fails us, we can still lean on You. Help us to become our best versions of ourselves this year, God, and to draw a little bit closer to You every single day. Amen.