Each year, along with making a small list of New Year's resolutions, I like to pray and ask the Lord to give me one word that He wants me to focus on.
Many words passed through my mind as 2015 came to an end, but none seemed right. And, after a while, God brought one to my mind that felt perfect in every way.
After only a few short weeks into January, God has already put this word to the test. My fleshly response is to hold onto all that is going on with a tight, closed fist. My nature is to want to solve and plan and figure out how I can organize the steps of my life. My first response is usually to question and doubt and try to reason.
But, the Lord has been sweetly and faithfully reminding me in His still small voice that His hands are holding the whole word, which includes my world. He is sovereign. He is in control. He is the Almighty, All-Knowing and All-Powerful God. He is bigger than anything I'm going through.
How do I know this? How can I be sure of this? Because His Word says so, and we can trust His promises.
"Cast all your cares on me because I care for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"'For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
The Bible is filled with scripture after scripture assuring us that He has a plan for us, telling us that we can surrender our plans to Him, commanding us to trust Him.
Is this easy? No. Is this my first response when something doesn't go according to my plan? Usually not.
I am a human. I am a continual work in progress. Satan will try to get the victory in my thought-life and in my actions. However, the Holy Spirit lives in me and with the Lord on my side, Satan will not get the ultimate victory–I will conquer it. I will close my eyes, take a deep breath and be still. I will open my fists and declare that God has control over my life. I will surrender.
It's a beautiful process.
I am eager to see what He continues to teach me this year. My prayer is that He uses this process of surrendering to draw me nearer to Him and His purposes for my life.