Our Braedon is a young man determined in his studies, committed to publishing a novel he began years ago, and has a heart full of kindness to share. In recent weeks, Braedon has requested prayer for courage. Courage to talk to others, to stretch himself socially. Of course, we prayed for just that, asking God to orchestrate times for Braedon to speak to others when physically in the school building.
One day with Braedon I prayed,
“Lord, You gave Joshua courage for the purpose You had given him. Lord, please give Braedon courage just as You gave it to Joshua.”:
I gave Braedon Joshua 1:9, classic courage verse, right? Not only to be what He will give but also to be reassured He will be with you wherever you may go.
Before Christmas, I lay on the couch with Jason one night. We had read our devotional. I was hesitant to pray for a word for 2021. I am not proud that I didn’t finish my book in 2020 as my word was STEWARD (more on that too).
However, this night, I closed my eyes. My heart began talking to the Lord. Shall I focus on enCOURAGEing others? Shaking my head back and forth, I thought maybe I had Braedon somewhere on my mind. Lord, I am wondering about enCOURAGE …
This time it was clear. As I sought the Lord with the word encourage, He emphasized COURAGE both times. Not audibly, but in my Spirit.
I slept on it, pondering all of what I knew was coming in 2021:
I praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me (Psalm 16:7).
~I begin seminary January 5th
~I may be working as a longterm lay speaker while in school
~God’s Revival August 2021
~And the book, my first book, the one I have mulled over, poured into, reached deep in the recesses of my heart to write. If I didn’t steward well to finish it last year, it needs to be added to this year.
His timing, His leading, His story He is writing in my life, even now.
Oh Lord, what is it? What do YOU say I need courage for in 2021?
I thought of the prophet Anna, the widow who only had her husband for seven years and who was now 84 when we meet in her Scripture. She is part of the Christmas story we don’t hear about. A prophecy fulfilled in the Christ child. A small interaction packed with joy after a looooong wait time. Anna spent her days and nights worshiping in the temple, fasting and praying. Anna went up to Joseph and Mary “at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).
Anna had to have courage to speak as she was a woman in a priest’s world, to remain in the temple all those years a widow, to reveal that Jerusalem needed redeemed.
But mostly she fasted and prayed.
Does spiritual discipline require courage?
The closer we are to Christ, the more He reveals through His Word, through our prayer relationship.Tweet
Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon (Psalm 31:24 THE MESSAGE)
Anna sure didn’t give up, she knew Christ was coming, but not exactly when.
Sounds like us, doesn’t it?
If I am honest, I am slightly nervous about the word COURAGE given by God Himself. He knows what challenges lie ahead. He knows the plans He has for me, which could look vastly different from the list I shared here.
Here’s what He downloaded to me this last week of December:
Chapter headings, organization for me to complete the book
A timeframe in which to publish and release the book.
Praise His holy name!
Thank you, Lord, for honoring my time with You at the end of 2020. For with You, one time of focused prayer can avail so much. Maybe it was one hour when Anna was 50 years old you revealed His coming, or maybe it wasn’t until her 80th year. You appoint perfect timing for Your will to be done here in us and among us. Looking back on my writing, Lord, to early 2020, I can see I wasn’t heart-ready to fully release to You the story. You are so kind to help me work through vestiges of suffering before going full steam ahead with publication. You are My Father, My Lord, My Savior, the One who is with me until the end of the age, the One who will give me courage and peace and strength to do the works You prepared for me in advance. And Lord, now I surrender the story to You. May You, Father, receive all glory and honor and praise for saving this wretch of a broken child.
I am without words as I end this post, overcome by His goodness and grace.
Thank you for joining me here. A writer sure appreciates readers 🙂
Has God given you a word for 2021?
If you have any questions about this one word for a year thing, I am happy to help. There was a time not so long ago that I didn’t understand how one word could cover an entire year.
Have you been on the receiving end of God’s download into your heart and soul? When you know that you know it comes from God and not yourself, it is an amazing thing.
May God bless you this week as He ushers us into 2021. Let’s remember to lay down our will, seeking His each day.
Love in Christ,
P.S. The Joshua 1:9 meme was made in the Holy Bible app. Feel free to use it.