After much seeking and prayer for most of December, I couldn't land on my word of the year. I tossed around a few words I thought God might be saying, but I couldn't get a peace about each one. Finally, it all started coming together in a theme, like He usually deals with me. Verses started jumping off the pages and I realized they were all related. And then at 10:30 pm on New Year's Eve, it fell into place. Establish.
Isaiah 60:5 "Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you." (I think this is in regards to the city Jerusalem, but I love the word radiant. I also know that wealth is so much more than money.)
Isaiah 43:19 "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 60 "Arise, shine, for your light has come....."
Malachi 3:2 "The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall."
Isaiah 44:26 "I will raise up their ruins..."
1 Kings 18:41 "...for there is a sound of the rushing of rain..."
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
2 Chronicles 20:20 "Believe in the Lord your God and you will be established, believe in His prophets and you will succeed."
Psalm 90:17 "Let the favor (beauty) of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!"
Psalm 40:2 "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
2016 was harder than I thought. Sometimes, you are in the warm water that gets hotter and hotter and all the sudden, you are boiling and you don't even know it! 2016 was a lot like that. Taking it all in, but at some point, you need an intervention! I think I'm in need of some restoration and I think God knows that! In some ways, 2016 left me in ruins, and I believe God wants to do some rebuilding. He wants to establish me. Establish our family.
So, that's what I've landed on for 2017. Establish. I have a peace that this is what God is saying and I'm desperate to see His hand move.
I keep thinking that He is still in the business of reversals. Our God is still a God of reversals. He reversed the edict in Esther's day and kept the Jews alive. He reversed Naomi's bitterness and brought new life instead of death. He reversed the curse of sin via the blood of Jesus. He still reverses things. Creating life from nothing. Taking ruins and making some beautiful. Marking us with righteousness instead of wrath.
Establish. Good ol' Webster's says it means to make firm and stable; create something that is meant to last a long time; put in a favorable position.
The good ol' Hebrew word for establish (at least one of them) is "KUWN" and means to stand firm, to be prepared, to set up, to build, to appoint, to fasten, and to provide.
I'm leaning on God to do the establishing in 2017. I'm weary and my well is dry. I'll be faithful to abide and sit at His feet, but I know He is telling me that it will be Him that shows up and does the work...establishes us and the work of our hands.
I have one visual that I think will carry me until I see the fruit of what He is doing. In Acts, Jesus had ascended into Heaven. Pentecost had occurred as the Holy Ghost fell on the believers in power. Peter and John were going to the temple during the hour of prayer. See this with me...a lame man was being carried to the temple. They carried him there every single day so he could ask alms. Daily sustenance was his mantra. Every day, the lame man sits at the gate that was called "Beautiful." This gate was 75 feet high, made of the finest Corinthian brass. He went there because he was in need of and expected to receive daily bread, so to speak. But, he got so much more this day!
On this day, Peter, filled with the power of Jesus Himself, told the lame man to rise up and walk! All the people around the temple were in awe and praised God. When doing a word study on the gate called "Beautiful," I was taken aback. The Greek word for "beautiful" is "horaios" and means coming at the right time, ripeness, good timing, belonging to the right season, etc. Not what I was expecting. God makes all things beautiful in His time. I think the words time and beauty are more related than we ever dreamed. We come to the Beautiful Gate, knowing God is doing the right thing at exactly the right hour.
Faith is the place where you really expect something from God. That is where you will find me at the beginning of 2017. The ruins are not rebuilt, but I am believing God for so much more than I could ever ask or imagine.
"Lord, we are sitting at the Beautiful Gate daily, knowing You will provide the amount of grace needed for each day. But, we are also hopeful for a season of healing and refreshing. So, touch us. Tell us to get up and walk. We are sitting at this gate, knowing the word "beautiful" corresponds with your good timing and your season, your right hour to move. Bring us favor and a season of flourishing. Allow us to bloom and to praise."
Establish us in 2017, Lord. Pour out your beauty upon us as you establish the work of our hands.