Way back in 2003, she stepped into a new year as a wet-behind-the-ears momma.
She was smack in the middle of new.
A new country. New language. New foods. New ministry. New baby who kept her up all night with colic.
That was the first year He gave her a verse. Just one scripture to ground her for an entire year, one verse to go back to again and again.
Sort of like a ground zero.
And every year since then, when December rolls around, He gives her the scripture for the upcoming New.
Because He really does make all things new.
Sometimes the new seems hard. Unwelcome. Upside down and backwards. Certainly it is sometimes difficult to see.
Yet in it all, the promise for inner renewal, for quickening, for new LIFE.
Why would He give one word, or set of words, to chew on for an entire year?
It’s a question we need to ask before we jump on some bandwagon.
We need to know where we’re going before we get on the bus.
There is a purpose to choosing a word, a reason why God gives us a ground zero verse to go back to.
It’s because we reap what we sow. But it’s only those who persevere in a Word who reap a harvest.
Short term hearing doesn’t produce 30, 50, or 100 fold. Only those who hear the Word and work it, till it, persevere at it do.
A word isn’t given to make us feel good or to decorate our homes with. It’s given for us to sow.
We till it into our hearts with meditation and water it with prayer.
There is a purpose to the word thing: God desires a harvest.
It came early December this time, the scripture to be ground zero for 2015. The Word. Hebrews 11:6. The promise that He is Rewarder of those who seek Him.
Soak in that for a year? My, my.
But something else came early December. A literal word. A single, solitary utterance.
First time for that, even though for years it’s been the rage. She never wanted a word unless it came from the Word Himself.
This one did.
That’s the self describing word that was unexpectedly heard and received, like an invitation to go where few have gone before.
A call to be courageous.
A call to be confident.
A call to be bodaciously set apart, to live the reality, come what may.
A maybe, just maybe, a call to be defined by a relationship so deep with the Master that it makes one radically uncommon.
There it is. The invitation to seek the Lord and sow the Word so frequently… To be rewarded so often… that it’s unusualness of the best kind that defines you.
We, with all our one words, could be that.
We could take our seed of a word and plant it deep. Sow it for a year and reap it for a lifetime.
On January 5, when she reads the story of Carver she knows afresh what can happen when we take a word and work it.
Of all words, his was peanut. She reads his words to the family as they pile into the taxi van and travel out of Bangkok:
“I asked God, ‘Why did you make the universe, Lord?’
“Ask for something more in proportion to that little mind of yours,” replied God.
“Why did you make the earth, Lord?” I asked.
“Your little mind still wants to know far too much. Ask for something more in proportion to that little mind of yours,” replied God.
“Why did you make man, Lord?” I asked.
“Far too much. Far too much. Ask again,” replied God.
“Explain to me why you made plants, Lord,” I asked.
“Your little mind still wants to know far too much.”
“The peanut?” I asked meekly.
“Yes! For your modest proportions, I will want you the mystery of the peanut. Take it inside your laboratory and separate it into water, fats, oils, gums, resins, sugars, starches, and amino acids. Then recombine these under my three laws of compatibility, temperature, and pressure. Then you will know why I made the peanut.”
Carver later mesmerized the House Ways and Means Committee by demonstrating a myriad of ingenious uses for the peanut- everything from glue to shaving cream to soap to insecticide to cosmetics to wood stains to fertilizer to linoleum to Worcestershire sauce.”
As quoted in Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson.
That’s what can happen when we take our “word” to the laboratory. When we sow it and meditate on it and persevere in it, a surprising harvest is there to be had. So friends, let’s take our words and cultivate faithfulness with them.
Then watch the Lord bring a 100 fold harvest that blows our expectations out of the water.