This prompt, about sharing how God invites me to share my days and year with Him, excited me when I first read it. I usually take time at the end of a year to reflect back on how God has worked in my life in various areas and then ponder where He is leading me for the upcoming year. Sometimes there is a word or a verse to claim and yet as 2021 ended with its challenges and triumphs, I found myself in a desert place which continued into the new year.
To be honest I’m feeling tired, discouraged, and struggling with focusing on the next day or week let alone figuring out where God is leading for an entire year. Deep down I realize feelings can be fickle. But even knowing that doesn’t stop them from puffing themselves up to the utmost importance and pushing facts to the side. They bring with them lies which make me feel like an imposter, a fraud, and a failure at times.
2022 has begun and I need to focus on the facts. God never changes. He is the same today as He was in the past and will continue to be in the future. His promises are sure and trustworthy. He doesn’t lie. This changes my thinking towards reflecting on the past year and looking ahead. I wait to hear the invitation God offers for right now in my life and writing.
The word God gave me last year turned out to be a phrase, connect with compassion. He also challenged me to be a good steward of the gifts He bestowed on me and write. Despite the tough times, the challenges, and changes in plans, words flowed and pieces of my writing and books were published. Most importantly, God used them to touch people.
Despite the productivity and encouragement I received, I felt like I had landed on a merry-go-round spinning out of control. Connecting became more difficult. I didn’t like the lack of compassion I saw in the world around me. My focus swirled with the wild ride and I lost sight of the promise of God that He never leaves me or forsakes me. My focus turned inward instead of to the One in control of all things, including me. I needed to get off that merry-go-round and refocus.
As I contemplate what God’s invitation for this coming year should look like, I long to shut out the cacophony of busyness and let go of the distractions. God invites me to come to the well of His unfailing love and mercy. I have a picture in my mind me by a tiny stream, a trickle really, longing to plunge into the depths of life-giving water. I follow one step at a time until the trickle grows bigger and leads to an unending supply – God’s supply - of refreshing water. I don’t have to remain in the desert. He invites me to come and find rest in Him.
In Isaiah 49:8-13 I read about the Lord's plan for the restoration of Israel. Several verses jumped out at me during this time when the darkness of discouragement, the busyness of life, and the lies of Satan threaten to swallow me and I know God has other plans than for me to dwell in the desert.
Isaiah 49: 10 “They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. “
And in verse 13 I read, “Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”
Last year's phrase was connect with compassion and this year the God of all compassion invites me to come and find rest in His promises. He longs to encourage me while I continue to be a good steward of the gifts He has given.