I had a friend just ask me last week if I knew what I was naming this year. Funny, I had just been thinking on that. Sometimes I need to feel out the year before I can name it. This naming came about quite by accident. Honestly, they seem to name themselves. Last year was Trust.
Last year was also a roller coaster. Maybe that's what I get when I name a year "trust". I get a test in just that. To be honest, I forgot all about last year's name until a few days ago. Trust. I thought of it and I laughed out loud. That is truly the one thing I learned to do last year...and I probably didn't even really catch on until the very last bit of December.
A year ago I posted about my stressful December. It was a step on a very long and interesting journey. I thought this year was going to be similarly difficult, but it wasn't. Oh it was difficult, just not in the same way. We're continuing to celebrate Biblical Feasts and shrink the man made traditions. We celebrated Hanukkah and loved it. We continued to try to learn just where it is He wants us to be. We...struggled. Not with what to do, but in our spirits. I knew that I knew that I knew that we (my whole family) were missing something. Here we were adamant about following God's way, doing the things He said to do, teaching our kids, trying to get it right and still...it wasn't. I didn't understand. I know He has Joy and Peace for those who follow Him. WHAT was I missing?? I cried and wondered where is the fruit?! Do I even have Your spirit if I can't see a bit a fruit in my life???? I was so desperate for answers so tired of trying and striving...
Then He told me:
I do not have because I do not ask.
But I do ask.
No, He said, you yell and cry and approach Me with anger. You ask when you're at the end of your rope. You don't come to me when things are going well. When you're not angry you do not ask.
Oh. I don't...
I plan to pray. I have prayer journals and prayer calendars and I talk and teach of the utmost importance of prayer. I pray at meals and with my kids. But do I ever actually seriously approach my God with the reverence He deserves?
Providentially I watched this awesome teaching on prayer. And yeah. THAT is it.
If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves and pray and seek My face AND turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin , and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
I'm kind of a grammar nerd and that is clearly an "If/Then statement.
Pray. Seek His face. Turn from our wicked ways. Trust Him. Seek Him in faith. Turn from things I once thought were good or told myself were good or those things I made excuses for.
It was like a switch went on in my spirit. Just in time too.
Trusting has become real.
I can trust because it's already done. HE has made all things new. He will overcome it all. And if I begin humbling myself, spending time truly seeking Him, turning towards His ways, then He'll heal my land.
He is. He's healing . He's doing great things. And it's not just me. He's moving in hearts of people everywhere.
He's teaching me to trust and I'm learning what faith and prayer truly is. So that leads me to this year's word. You may have guessed by now:
In Hebrew it's Tefillah.
The English doesn't quite express what the Hebrew intends. Tefillah comes from a root word that means to judge or look inward. It's also connected to communion and abiding together. Our word "prayer" tends to be thought of as requests. But this misses the mark. The whole reason that prayer, tefillah, changes us is not because we get a long list of requests granted, but it's the looking inward as we are spending time with our God. When we are in His presence it leads us to assess where we are in our lives. Many times just being near Him we begin to feel naked and ashamed because we see how far we fell. It's the being in His light that forces us to want to, even in our very humble attempts, try to be worthy. And then our prayers are never a list of requests. They become only one...Make me more like You.
And that's it. This year. Father, Abba, make me more like You.