I had this seemingly small victory happen last night about thirty minutes before the new year clocked in.
My neighbors had started setting off fireworks. I was inside writing in my journal—no view of the night sky from where I sat—and reflecting on the year.
There I was, nearly penniless and unemployed, but inwardly canons of light thundered across the sky that hangs over the garden of my heart—colorful and bright light. There I was, in such a state, and I was excited about the future, for my future.
Excitement. Victory. Big deal.
Being excited isn’t a big deal for most people and it definitely wouldn’t have been for me not so long ago. I was probably one of the most excitable people you could meet, ha! But, I started getting crushed down like an aluminum can—you know, like those first blows to one that don’t quite do all that much damage but then, crunch.
So for me feeling excited about the future is a big deal, a veritable victory. What’s even better about this excitement is that it’s the godly kind that comes from Christ in us—hope. It’s the kind of excitement that defies logic and defies what our natural eyes perceive.
And. So. It was this kind of excitement that carried me right into the new year.
In fact, I missed acknowledging the stroke of midnight because I was creating the image I used for this post. I spent most of December 31 creating in some way too—whether working on a charcoal portrait or writing. It was intentional and that was a notable difference for me, comparing it to previous years–the intention, that is.
Intention. Creative. Vision.
The past couple of weeks I started to envision being more creative and envision ways to share more of that creativity with the people in my life—making Christmas cards and postcards that I sent out to family and friends.
I think of how much I love to create and to create lovely things for others to enjoy, and this kind of thinking draws me in closer to Abba Father.
Can you imagine how completely and totally excited He was when He created all of Creation? Blows my mind.
My spiritual vision is coming back into focus more and more and its happening as I focus in on Jesus—more and more. He is my intention, my reason to create, my ability to see like our Father—clearly, focused, intentionally, and lovingly.
As much as I didn’t lean on Him during this hard season like I needed to, or as often as I needed to, He remained faithful to never leave me nor forsake me—and to pursue me with unconditional love.
Praise Jesus for never giving up on us, and no matter how many times we say, directly or indirectly, “because I’m just not in the mood to talk right now.” Ha!
We can be such boogers, I tell you–or well, I know I certainly can.
Knowing that I am one with Jesus, and having continued to pray in the spirit, helped me to receive from Him far more than I realized in the midst of all the contrary feelings. Many knots were undone.
The Holy Spirit brought two verses to my remembrance at o’clock in the morning of this new year and then again throughout the day.
The first verse is Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB) which says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”
The second verse is from 2 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB) says, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
Knowledge of Him.
I did a little word dig on knowledge in this verse. The Greek word originally used means being sure or resolved, understanding. So I meditated on the verse again with a little parenthetical and it reads like this, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge (sureness, resolve, understanding) of Him in every place.”
I read it aloud and emphasized those words and could not help but feel…well, excited.
No place in our heart is off limits to Jesus. No place in our heart is without Him being able to manifest through us the sweet aroma of the sureness and resolve and understanding of Him.
A new year.
Choose more of Jesus this year—every day. Choose deeper relationship with Him—every day. And, thank God for always leading us to triumph in Christ, and for manifesting that sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
Every place of our heart. Every place of our lives. Every day. More of Him.
Happy New Year, friends!