Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reflections on 2014

A tree growing out of the rocky banks of the Nile River.

It is hard to believe 2014 is over and we are already three days into 2015.

As I make the transition into a new set of 52 weeks and 365 days, I like to spend time reflecting on the past year and preparing for the new one. I have loved the idea of having "one word" for a year and though I didn't really have just one word, I believe 2014 centered around a concept - being planted in Christ.

In December 2013, God blessed me with a personal retreat and during that time showed me the importance of being "planted" in Him. I wrote more about it in a post you can find here. I believe He was helping me see that ministry and living life purposefully for Him are not all about going wider or higher in our activities and pursuits, but true success and fruitfulness lie in going deeper and deeper in Him. And as we are in Him, He produces the fruit in us and through us. Success in God's kingdom is not so much about doing, as it is about being.

As I sat on the banks of the beautiful Nile, God especially emphasized two scripture passages, Psalm 1:1-3 and Jeremiah 17:7-8.

"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked,
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on His law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither - 
whatever they do prospers."- Psalm 1:1-3

"But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, 
and they never stop producing fruit." - Jeremiah 17:7-8

As I navigated 2014, I wanted go deeper and deeper in my walk with God and in His Word. However, it seems as He enabled me to draw closer, He is the One who took me deeper into Himself and His ways and purposes. I don't truly know how to navigate His depths and His unsearchable qualities, His mysterious ways and His incomprehensible thinking. But He presented the opportunities, the joys, the challenges, the insights to reveal more and more of Himself.

As I look forward to 2015, I put my hand in His and choose to walk closely. And as I do so, He draws me further into intimacy and plants me more firmly and deeply in Himself and His unchanging ways. 

Be planted. Go deeper. Bear lasting fruit. Don't just do, but be - in Him.

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