One thing I savor with the onset of colder weather is the chance to hunker-down. To pull out the hoodies and fleeces, as well as extra blankets for the bed. It’s hard to beat a crisp night, a good book, a sweetened cup of coffee and my wife on the couch beside me. Such moments are rare in our home. Five children and a heat-sucking, parasitic dog provide plenty of sabotaging moments. Nevertheless, I cling to my dreams.
Winter in Michigan can be long. Monotonous. Even claustrophobic. That’s why most Michiganders stumble over each other on the way South come late March. But in these long nights of winter lay a hidden blessing. Our forced corralling indoors brings time to rest. To sit. To ponder. To talk. And with the turning of the New Year just a week ago, this season is ripe for reflection.
With the birth of a new year comes a natural time for starts, stops, lessening, increasing and freshening. Last January I started an Affection Revolution. It was a revolt against myself. I stood-up to my misplaced affections that were stealing from my love of God. That war is still raging, but I am winning some battles. It will be a lifetime struggle, but one worth fighting. And you can join me. Read my post and battle with me.
As 2012 dawns, my inclination to stop or start through resolution is a bit subdued. Instead of feeling inspiration toward big commitments, I keep hearing two words. I think they will be my one-word resolutions for this year. Those words are: faithful and obedient.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8) When God called, Abraham moved. There was no road map. No clear direction (as far as Abraham knew). Yet he gathered his things and stepped out into a grand adventure. I suspect at times he felt lonely, scared, tense, tired and maybe even a bit frustrated by God’s demands.
Have you ever felt like that? I have.
But into the fog of a wonderfully mysterious promise, Abraham obediently plodded. Step by step. It was gutsy. Courageous. Inspiring. It was rock-solid faith. Faith in a God he was just getting to know. But a God he trusted to lead him safely through the unknown, the unpredictable and the uncomfortable. And because of Abe’s astonishing faith and prompt obedience, God’s promise to him is still growing in its fulfillment.
What’s cool is that Abraham’s God is my God. A God who has never failed to honor His word—to me, or anyone else. He’s got my back—through the good, bad and ugly. God’s character and deep grace bring comfort and peace to my wandering heart. I savor Him much more than a great book or a Starbucks Salted Carmel Mocha on a chilly winter evening.
Abraham’s faith and obedience showed that God can be trusted—no matter what. As I consider my own faith and obedience, how will I prove—like Abraham—the greatness of God in 2012?
Faithful and obedient. My dynamic duo for 2012. What’s yours?