Welcome to 2011. A brand new year. A new beginning. A blank canvas. An opportunity to consider the possibilities that lie ahead. And embrace change in areas where growth is needed. I have to admit that I’m a creature of habit. Change doesn’t come easily for me. But as I’ve reflected on the past year, I’ve seen the hand of God most clearly when He has coaxed me out of my comfort zone.
Early last year, as we enjoyed a leisurely dinner, I remember sharing an idea for a devotional series with my husband. He was very supportive and gave me some excellent things to consider. Hmmmm. Once I had put my dream out there, I realized that I needed to follow through with the project. How to get started? I was already spending several hours a week blogging, and now I needed to begin writing this series.
Several months went by and my devotional idea remained just that, an idea. I thought I knew what the Lord wanted me to write, but the words just wouldn’t come. I had determined to illustrate the fruit of the Spirit with short entries written in traditional devotional format. My timeline was structured so I would finish one of the books in the series before I attended my first writer’s conference. As I began writing, the Lord began to stretch my vision. Instead of a simple devotional, He showed me a different plan, one that included an interactive Bible study. Oh, wow! This would require much more research and time. Was I willing to face the challenge?
As I contemplated this change in plans, I thought about the familiar words of Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” (KJV). “Ok, Lord,” I prayed, “if You want me to change the format of this series, You’re going to have to help me!” Things started coming together. I joined a critique group and found the accountability I needed. Slowly, lessons were written and valuable feedback was given. I saw the importance of taking one step at a time.
As I continue to work on my series this year, I’m convinced that the Lord will continue to guide me each step of the way. David’s words ring true, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 119:105). God’s word gives me plenty of light to navigate today’s road successfully, while keeping me focused on Him for tomorrow’s needs.
Where do you need to embrace change and experience growth this year? Accept the Psalmist’s challenge, “Trust in the Lord, and do good…delight thyself also in the Lord…commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass,” (Psalm 37:3a,4a,5). This year, step out in faith and experience the mighty hand of God in your life!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for an opportunity to live for You. What a privilege You’ve given me to experience Your miraculous presence. Help me to tune in to Your still, small voice, so I'll recognize those areas where I need to grow. Allow me to be used for You this year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.