Peace

Well….it’s come. What the entire world has been waiting for. The end of 2020.

This morning I grabbed my computer, a variety of colorful writing utensils, several sheets of paper, and drove to a nearby hotel to do some solo-reflection. I am so present-minded that neither contemplating the past nor thinking ahead into the future are very natural for me. It takes concentrated effort.

Before I began, I prayed that God would make this time like a conversation with Him, whether I was reading Scripture, writing, thinking, or gazing at the beautiful Kabale hills around me.

Over the past few years I have gotten into the practice of choosing a word for the year. Something to challenge me, encourage me, align my focus, and more.

I came to this reflection today with no idea what my word for 2021 would be.

But God met me, and quickly gave me the word, when that wasn’t even what I was focused on at the moment.

It came when I read Romans 15:13. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This verse is actually packed full of great words that could be selected as a word of the year: hope, joy, trust, overflow, power…But peace immediately grabbed my attention.

As I threw the idea around in my head and considered the message of this verse, I was asking myself, What comes first? Peace or Trust? The more I thought about it, I think they go hand-in-hand. I mean, if I say that I trust God with a particular aspect of my life, yet I do not have peace in it, then I would conclude I am not actually trusting Him.

in 2021 I want to trust God not just with my words or belief or even actions, but I want internal peace as I move in obedience.

One of those blank sheets of paper now contains a purple list of specific areas in which I want peace. Some are specific events. Some are relationships. Some are decisions. Some are hopes/plans. But the last line sums up all the specifics: I want peace in my heart and mind.

In contrast, I do not want to worry, be angry, have resentment, be impatient, or be disappointed….All of these contrasting ideas (and more!) are thieves of peace.

I don’t know all God has in store for me in 2021, but I pray that His Holy Spirit gives me the power to overcome those thieves, and overflow with peace instead.

Happy New Year friends!

What is your word for 2021?

Do you have a key verse you are holding onto as we begin a new year?

What are you praying for this year?

Any thoughts?

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