Every New Year while growing up, my mother would give my siblings and me a word she thought might set the tone for how we should live the 365 days that followed. We’re all adults now, yet still look forward to that very insightful word to guide our attitudes and decisions. For example, once, my word was Focus. I always tried to keep Focus in the back of my mind because I was easily distracted from the goals I had set.
Last year, mummy deviated from giving me a single word to giving me a phrase: Await the calm. She first sent it in a card, then in text messages and almost in every phone conversation…Await the calm…It was especially well-suited for the kind of year Duwayne and I had, soothing our fears and reassuring us that brighter days would come.
Although I still expect a word (or phrase) from mummy this year, I have taken the initiative (“Finally”, she says) to come up with a guiding principle for myself: Consider the lilies. The words resonated with me the moment I read them on the cover of the journal my sister gave me for Christmas.
Jesus, my carpenter friend, spoke those words to a gathering crowd and his disciples one day, centries ago and their simple truth still echo through hearts like mine and yours.
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry…(Matthew 6: 28-31 NKJV)
Last year, Duwayne and I spent many days mulling over the impossibilites we faced. Each week brought a new issue to deal with; and even though we prayed, we continued to worry after each “Amen” instead of expecting God to provide for us. To be honest, at times we said in our hearts, “That’s just not going to happen.” Still, to our amazement, God made a way for those needs to be met with almost no effort or contribution on our part. God in His goodness provided for every one of our needs, including the ones we dared not ask for.
In light of our experience of God’s providence in 2010, Duwayne and I have enthusiastically set many goals for 2011 – we wrote them down and committed them to God in prayer. Strangely, though, our inclination to worry after “Amen” has not completely faded; yet in these moments of weakness, Jesus’ words Consider the lilies stir our hearts and nudge us forward in faith. For all things that seem unattainable in this season of our life, we know these are His guiding words to us.