Every start of the year, I prayerfully ask God to drop in my heart a specific verse that He wants me to hold on to and pray over for the rest of the year.
Interestingly for me, whatever that verse is, it somehow always AWALYS ends up to be nothing short of a summary of what happened to my life that year. I’ve seen many times how my life would start to work around that verse and witness that promise unfold sometimes so accurate to a point that it scares me.
In 2013, for example, I held on to the verse in Ephesians 3:20 where it says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than what we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” All throughout last year, that’s what I’ve witness God do in my life so wildly. He did show me that He is indeed a God of immeasurably more. You can read about that here, here, and here.
This year is no different. Few weeks ago when I revisited my faith goals and recounted where God has brought me the past months so far, I felt my year has already been so rich and overflowing I don’t mind closing it in early October.
I was engrossed and overwhelmed at how He did it once more – how He’s kept so well the promise He had impressed in my heart to hold on to for 2014: “See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
None of the new things happened in my life this year came without a cost, of course. Most of it cost me in tears, cost me in prayer, cost me in battle. Yet through it all I’ve seen Him make a way for me and every time He did so, it built in me a new character, it allowed me to see a new facet of Him, and it gave me a new reason to praise Him each passing day. Even just for that I could say it has already been more than worth it.
I would admit though that months before this, I was totally convinced of the otherwise. I didn’t notice all the new things He was doing in my life — or maybe I should say I did not want to recognize or count them because they weren’t really the “new” I was expecting or waiting for to happen.
Most of the new things He did in my life this year weren’t exactly those that I was believing for Him to do.
You see, when He impressed Isaiah 43:19 in my heart, I began to have pictures in my head of the all the possibilities there is.
I have big dreams, you guys. And I thought maybe this could be the year for some significant dreams to happen. So I started praying for that.
I prayed and hoped and waited with so much anticipation that He’d move me on a certain emphasis. And I told Him that if by “new” He meant me packing my bags for an unfamiliar place, I will be more than willing and ready to go.
No bags were packed. He told me instead to stay.
So I did.
What I realized from that this year is that sometimes when we look at the lives of those people who God calls to go out to the unfamiliar or to the unknown and they obeyed, we like to call them brave. And they are for sure. I spend a lot praying to God too to bring me to those places.
But I learned this year that staying is just as brave too.
Because most often than not, brave is not really determined by the the kind of place that you are choosing to go to. Brave is choosing to do what God tells you to do – even if it means being right at a safe corner of your house mothering a toddler or sitting at the same desk you’ve been occupying for years at your workplace.
One day we will all look at the rearview mirror of our lives and thank God for the times He asked us to stay. We will see why it was important for Him to put some dreams on hold for a bit and we will nod our heads as we agree.
It’s interesting that although practically most of the time I was just right here, this also happens to be the year where God taught me so much of how to live a life dangerously, living on the edge and trusting Him deeply that He’s got it all figured out for me.
I used to think that adventures start when we leave the confines of the familiar place we’re in. Now I realize adventures happen where God is.
And you know, if where I am right now is where I will be able to honor my God best and experience Him the most at this season of my life?
Ditch that plane ride.
I’ll stay right here as long as You want. :)
“You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way”
– You Make Me Brave, Bethel Music