In January of 2016 I heard a pastor encourage his congregation to ask God for a specific word for them for the year. A focal point that aligns with His plans for them, or perhaps just a loving reminder. I had never done this, but thought it sounded like a good idea. Later that week, as I prayed and asked God for a word, he led me to Psalm 121. It’s a beautiful passage of only 8 verses, and as I finished reading it, there was a central theme and it jumped off the pages at me. One word, and I knew it was God’s word to me for the year…SECURE.
What a great word, don’t you think? I mean, to know that God was reassuring me, that no matter what I encountered throughout the year, I could stand firm with the promise of His presence as he watched over me, went before me, beside me, and behind me, and He would never let me down. Faithful, yes, my God is faithful, and I am secure.
Insecurity has always been a struggle for me. He knows that. Wasn’t that so loving of Him to give me the reassurance I needed? Looking back at 2016, there were no great tragedies or life-shaking moments. There were times of fear, change, and uncertainty…but I had my word from the Word. What a gift His Word is!
Well, January 2017 rolled around, and I was excited to ask God for my new word for the year. I had been given a devotional book on joy, and I had a sneaky suspicion that might be it, but I also knew that was coming from my own thoughts. As I sat reflecting on 2016 I recognized that I desired to go deeper with the Lord. In the busyness of life, I was not having as much one-on-one time with Him, and I hungered for more of Him. My husband and I study the bible together daily, which is a wonderful blessing we share together and is foundational in our marriage, but I was missing having a regular time with God that was just Him and me. As I was praying about 2017 and asking Him to give me a word for the year, this word popped into my head.
Commune. I knew it didn’t come from my thoughts, because it is not one of those words I use in my everyday vocabulary. I knew in general what the word meant, but I was curious about the actual definition…I wanted to dig further, gotta love Google!
Commune: to converse or talk together, usually with profound intensity, intimacy, etc.; interchange thoughts or feelings. Its synonyms are “bond, click, relate.”
How awesome is that! The God of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth, the One who holds all things together and by whom and for whom all things are created, wants to commune with me….and He wants to commune with you too.
This is not a one-sided relationship. This is a back and forth conversation. It is deep, and real, and intimate. Something special His children get to share together with Him. We can tell Him our thoughts and feelings, and through His Word and revelation, we can intimately know Him.
We live in a lonely world. A hurting world. A broken world. What if the lonely, the hurting, the broken, could understand the concept of God’s deep, abiding love for them? He is real, and He does relate to us in a personal, intimate way that fills the empty places in our hearts. He is the ONLY one who can.
Now, half way through 2017, I have re-discovered the intimacy of my one-on-one time with God. For me, it most often happens during walks. You see I have a problem…I think too much, and talk to myself too much. In other words, it’s a struggle for me to mentally shut up long enough to listen for God’s whisper. When I’m on a walk, I admit that I do a mental brain dump for about three quarters of the distance. I get it all out, and then I pray my truth prayer….”Lord, reveal to me the truth about my life, or anything else you want to show me, help me to accept it, and show me what to do with it.” He always reminds me to breathe…deep slow breaths. Then, to look around and listen. Look at the flowers, the mountains, the birds. Hear them singing like they don’t have a care in the world. Breathe in the smells of the desert air, and calm my mind….and then He usually surprises me as He shares His thoughts that He wants me to know. I love knowing what’s on God’s heart. I love that He desires to share it with me. I love that He fills me with peace, and joy during these excursions, and I love the word He gave me for 2017.
The words He gives aren’t just for a year, they’re forever. He has many words to give to His children, because He desires relationship with us. When’s the last time you communed with your Father? It’s a gift you don’t want to miss out on! I encourage you to find your quiet place, and ask Him what’s on His heart, and then…listen. If you do, you will find your days filled with more peace and joy. And there it is…joy…the word I thought I would be getting snuck its way in there after all…because it’s a natural by-product when we commune with our Lord.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”