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New Year in Full Force

We had an incredible Christmas, which led almost straight into our London trip with our oldest son. It was a whirlwind four and a half days, but I’m beyond thankful we were able to do it before he goes off to college next year.

I had intended to be back writing here last week, but I made it through leading worship last Sunday morning (barely) and then cold/flu took over my body for right at a week. My body ached, I had no voice, I coughed incessantly, I had zero energy–it was the longest I’ve ever been down with the same illness. It was almost five days before I could be out of bed for more than half an hour.

So here we are. Last week felt a little late to be writing about a new year, but there you go. This week I feel like I’ve been thrust into oncoming traffic and the new year with its demands is honking and yelling for me to get out of the way.

It’s a gentle reminder that we are not guaranteed to have life go exactly how we plan or think it should. Things happen that impact us and we have to roll with it.

Leading up to 2018, I had one word that rose above the noise and busyness. Last year, God had me focused on delightbut this year, the consistent stirring I had was with the word, empower.

One definition I read was “give or delegate power or authority to” or to “give qualities or abilities to; i.e. gift.” Simple enough.

The verse God showed me to go along with it is a familiar one. It’s one I learned a long time ago and repeat in the prayers with my kids going to school every day, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

But I decided to read it in several different versions, one of them being Amplified.

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] –Philippians 4:13

That’s quite the truth to chew! This is what I need because I certainly haven’t felt like this. Not just the sickness, but empowered just isn’t something I have felt lately mind, body, or soul.

This is why I reflect on this verse and meditate on living truth. What He’s called me to do, I can do it all because He’s there strengthening and empowering (whether I feel it or not).

I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency… That moves me deeply. The insecurities I feel, the nagging doubts, the lacks and limitations–His sufficiency is never in question. His sufficiency makes me sufficient.

There are days I feel like a whipped puppy, recoiling for fear of what might come next, but instead God gives me the declaration, “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him.” He’s my shot of adrenaline and strength. My lack of confidence does not sway His confident peace.

I may feel behind going into this new year, but He sees and He knows. He is not worried or fearful. I may not see the full path of His empowerment, but I can trust that He is leading step by step by step.

Hope this encourages you too! What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a word/focus for 2018? How are you progressing so far?

7 Comments

  1. So sorry to hear you were down with the flu, Jason, and so glad you’re feeling better now. Not seeing you here had me a bit worried!
    Empower . . . now that’s such a strong and positive word for the year. And I love that translation: I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. I’m going to remember that one!
    My word for the year? Breathe. You can see why it chose me at my blog site.
    http://marthaorlando.blogspot.com/2018/01/breathe-on-me-breath-of-god.html
    Blessings!

    • That’s awesome! Look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks so much, Martha! Appreciate you!

  2. I’ve learned that God can take the usual “I am ready for anything” and turn it into something that I am not ready for. I just returned from a two month getaway just to have my truck die on me halfway across town. However, God showed me mercy! 🙂 Have a great year Jason!

    • He certainly knows how to keep us leaning into His strength doesn’t He? And I’m sorry to hear about the truck--I’ve been no stranger to car trouble in the last year. No Fun. Blessings to you! Thank you, Ed.

  3. Health is my word. Selfish, I know, but the last couple of years have taken a slight downturn. Long story short, I for the meniscus in each knee at separate times, and the pain made me more sedentary. Not good. So I am working on taking better care of myself. PT exercises, 8 glasses of water, flossing, more fruits and vegetables and less starch, less butter and more creativity, appointments for eye doctor, chiropractor, dentist.. I have prayer on my todo list so I no longer keep putting it off until I forget. Yep. The last couple of years have taken a downturn…
    My mobility is my main concern, but I think my problem is that I have not treated my health as important. I have worried about weight, appearance, mobility, finances, but have acted as if my own health is of secondary importance. This year, I am flipping it over. I am going to focus on health and hope the rest of it takes care of itself.
    I am sorry you were ill, and glad you are feeling better.

    • *tore* my meniscus.

    • Helen, I don’t think “health” as your word is selfish at all! I know it can be so difficult to focus on our own needs when we want so badly to take care of everyone or everything around us, or like you said, you just think you can’t or shouldn’t focus on yourself. Praying you find great strength to reclaim great health and make the advancements you’re after. Blessings to you, friend! Thanks so much.

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