Can One Word change anything? Claudia launches a new Friday feature for 2020 with this week’s discussion on how God uses one word to change her perspective as she grows in faith.

glasses with open journal

One Word Can Change Everything

by Claudia Duff

Happy New Year!

As 2019 rolled into 2020 I saw it. 

The irony of the new year, 2020. 

Meaning that this is the year we see things as they truly are. We will see the gaps in our relationships. We will absolutely know what choices will lead to the Cross and those that will lead us into danger and destruction. In 2020 all the things we once grappled with will be gone. We will become more decisive and make the most of all our moments because we will have 20/20 vision in 2020. 

Of course, all of this can be, is true in our lives every other day since the day we drew our first breath as a believer in Christ. The Cross gives us the power of 20/20 vision we so desperately cry out for. 

The scarlet thread of redemption is woven throughout the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. But we have to actually read it, listen to it, pray about it, and trust God with all the things. 

Therein lies the struggle that is indeed real. 

“Lord, how do I see you above all the things? Lord where is my 20/20 spiritual vision?”

 I don’t know about you guys, but I am tired of stumbling about in the darkness. I am sick of feeling my way and struggling to find the way out of difficult circumstances in my life. Thinking and, often foolishly believing, that God just may not be for me caught me often in 2019. Weeping over the things and people that were lost in 2019 chases me in my sleep and my waking hours. I really need 2020 to be different. 

What about you? Are you looking for 20/20 vision in this new year? 

The thought of it can, should bring us to our knees. Right where God waits to meet us. When we bend our knees at the leading of the Holy Spirit we gain the posture God has been waiting on. He is waiting for us to ask him. Simply ask him for his presence in our everyday lives to include our waking and sleeping hours.

I promise this year will bring you both joy and sadness, struggles and peace, and all the things that fall in-between. 

“In the world, you will have tribulation.”

John 16:33a ESV

But God has promised, “take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b ESV) Some of what we will face in 2020 are known places of sadness. I have a few friends battling for their lives against cancer. Some have adult kids who have walked away from the faith and are making life-altering choices that are not easily shaken. We have aging parents who need our help in ways we never imagined. You may be in the worst career path ever created and see no way of escape. Marriages are no longer hanging by threads because they have fallen. 

We have some hard stuff ahead in 2020. 

And where is God in all of these hard places? Is he with us? 

Yes, he is because God is Immanuel, “God with us.” 

Does God even see us? Yes, he does because he is Jehovah El Roi, “the God who sees me.” 

And even more important, will he fight for me? Yes, he will fight for you, because he is Jehovah Nissi, “the God who fights for me and wins.” 

We can all rest in the fact that God is not just in our corner, but we are in his heart. Through the power of the cross, our very good God places us firmly in his own heart.

This year our theme in Planting Roots is “Growing Together.” That sounds delightful, seriously who doesn’t want growth in their life? 

My family knows me for my ‘black thumb’. And not in a good way. I will confess I can kill just about anything and not even try hard. But you know what? I don’t stop trying. Every year in the spring I buy some plants. In the fall, I buy mums. And, in the winter, I buy poinsettias. Why? I refuse to quit trying. I encourage you to do the same, do not give up or in. You will fall down or your circumstances may even push you down in 2020, get up. 

One Word Can Change Everything

Each year I allow the Holy Spirit to select a word for me. So far, every word he has provided fails the pan out the way I expect. Last year’s word was peace. Well, that escalated quickly in huge ways. We lost my father-in-law and some other treasured family members. In the midst of these losses, I did experience the peace of God that surpassed all of my understanding. The grip of the grave was still present with me. I cried many tears and my heart tore in ways I didn’t know was possible yet it still continued to beat. So, peace wasn’t the absence of all the hard things it was the presence of a strong God in the midst of all the hard things. That’s a true and virtuous peace. And I would never have experienced that if I didn’t have the hard stuff. 

This year my word is, grateful. And sweet friends my heart is a bit anxious. What is coming next? What could God be prepping me for? I have no idea but I know it will be for my good. I know this place is not my home and I know my God. He is good and he is for me. So, whatever 2020 is bringing me I know my God knows the beginning from the end and he will come for me. In the darkness of the night, he will come and shine his light. When the boulders fall on me to crush me, he will move them. When the floods come, he will indeed rescue me. 

Join me right here on Fridays to remember, proclaim and discover the Lord as we become “Firmly Planted” in our faith through the application of the Word of God in our everyday lives! I look forward to spending time with you! 

<>< Claudia 

“Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV