A lot of people I know spend time at the end/start of each year asking for a word or promise from God for the upcoming year, one they hold on to all year as life hits. Mostly authors I follow, although that could just be because they write about it! I’m sure there are others who do it too.
I’ve never actually done it myself. I’ve had years where I’ve had a prayer I’ve prayed over the year which has come up time and time again throughout it but never a specific word. Until this year.
Yep, I have a word for 2019. Which is a total shock to me since I neither asked for one nor sought one nor even wanted one! The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. And yet, as I was reading my Bible a couple of days before the end of 2018, there it was. One word, standing out of the passage as a whole like it had bright flashing lights and a whole heap of arrows pointing it out in a way that I couldn’t have missed it if I tried.
Psalm 46:2 (The Message) – “…I stand fearless…”
Apparently, in 2019, I'm going to be fearless. That's what God has promised me.
Thankfully, the promise/word didn't stop there. (Phew!)
God wasn't saying I'd be fearless because I was brave or because I have it all together (Ha! Not even close). Certainly not because I have all the answers. Nope. I stand and will stand fearless because, as the rest of the psalm says, God fights for me. God is both on my side and by my side. Fighting for me and protecting me.
“Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.”
Fearlessness isn't about whether I can control the storms (I can’t) or whether I have the strength to face them (I don’t). It’s about God. Only God. He can control the storms. He has the strength to face them. I just have to stand by his side. Fearless. Reckless almost by human standards. Taking on the storm because I know that God’s got this.
A word like that should have totally freaked me out. Believe me, I’ve been a Christian long enough to know how things like this work. You pray for patience and you get a whole heap of situations which try it. Pray for strength and learn very quickly what it is to be weak. Pray for peace and suddenly everything goes crazy. Not because God is cruel but because he loves us and wants us to grow and realize how much we do need him every hour of every day.
God telling me to be fearless? Not just in a particular situation but for whatever gets thrown at me this year? Not exactly the kind of promise an introverted, anxiety-fighting Aussie stepping her way into the big, scary world of US publishing wants to hear. We’re three weeks into January and already I’m wondering how I’m going to make it through
each day the next few hours without completely falling apart.
And yet, it didn’t freak me out at all. Not even a little bit. All I could think was how excited I was to have such a promise. I stand fearless – because I don’t stand alone. God is fighting for me. God is protecting me. God is by my side.
This year is going to be huge. Seriously. Way bigger than I can handle alone. It’s going to stretch me and probably come close to breaking me at times (oh wait, it already has :p) but I’m really excited to see what God is going to do in me and through me. I’m excited to put my hand in his and stand fearless looking out over cliffs and storms, reckless with the knowledge that God fights for me and protects me.
I stand fearless.
How about you? Do you ask God for a word each year? Have one even if you don’t? Wonder, like me, how many times I’m going to have to re-read this and remind myself of this promise when I feel like I’m drowning? :p (Feel free to remind me!) I'd love to hear if you do!