Cheerfully Expectant

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, probably because I know I’ll never keep them. Instead, for the past 12 years or more, I’ve taken some time at the beginning of each year to choose a word that will reflect what I’d like to focus on in the upcoming twelve months.

My word for 2020 was EXPECTANCY. Yep. Feel free to laugh along with me at that one. In fact, I believe I wrote in depth on the irony of that word in an earlier blog post. But God is faithful. Though I ended 2020 with not nearly the wide-eyed optimism with which it began (who did?), God continued to bring that word to mind even on my darkest days.

Another habit I formed several years ago is to read through the Bible in a year. This past year I decided to change things up a bit by reading it chronologically in a different version (The Message paraphrase). Along about November when I was especially weary at how the virus was continuing to wreak havoc with, well, EVERYTHING, I read these words:

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)

And then, these:

 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.

Romans 12: 11-12 (MSG)

No, 2020 hasn’t turned out at ALL like I expected, but God didn’t stop working. He never has and He never will. I hope I’ve come through this past year wiser, stronger and more expectant than ever of what He will do next.

Have I chosen a word for 2021? Why, yes. Yes, I have. Thank you for asking. My word for the coming year is DEEPER. I want to dive deeper—in my faith, in my relationships, in my walk with Christ. Part of that includes diving deeper into God’s Word.

I hope you will join us on Tuesday Mornings starting January 19, either in person or online, as we dig into Genesis. If you haven’t registered, you can do that HERE. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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