I love that when God was about to deliver Israel once more, He says: “Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
As leaders in this new year, let’s focus on the new things God will do in and through us in the next 12 months. Although I am not an annual resolution maker, when January arrives, I do watch for patterns and themes about what God is saying to me, what He wants to teach me, what may be ahead that He wants to prepare me for, and what He wants to change in me.
If I am not intentionally watching and asking Him to teach me, I can miss it. This past year, God began early in the year telling me to lay down my perfectionist tendencies. In January, a friend began praying that God would “dilute the intensity of my perfectionism and magnify His presence so that I will seek Him, and call on Him, and depend upon Him to do the work, and that I would just respond in obedience.” Little did she know (although of course God did) what was ahead in the next few weeks and months.
My colleague, who is our training event coordinator, fell on the ice 2 days before our YOU Lead Training was kicking off for the year. As I was focusing on my biggest concern the day before she fell (our worst ice storm in years, airports closed, office closed, and the need to get to the west coast), I wrote an article called What I’m Learning While I Wait. I got a call from her the next morning—the day before we were to fly out. Her leg was badly broken, and she would have to have surgery. Because I do not know how to do what she does and had no idea how we could do this event without her, I was suddenly desperate. And although my thoughts were racing from “I didn’t just hear that” to “You are kidding, right? April Fools a little early?” to “Well, can they wrap it up good, and you can schedule the surgery next week?” my actual first words were, “I am SO sorry!”
Because I had been praying already about how we would even get to our first YOU lead of the year, and I had placed that in His hands, after hanging up the phone I once again said to Him, “OK, Lord, I have no idea how you are going to pull this off, but let me hear from you, obey you, and trust you fully.”
It was no easy task getting there, we had NO shipment arrive with our supplies, programs, and other items, and getting back home was even harder due to weather, but we saw God work miracles to do what only He could do and to bring glory to Himself through the event. That was the start of a difficult training season due to the very extensive healing process for my colleague. But God continued to make a way as He did a new thing each time.
So, once again as we approach this new year, I am asking Him to show me a “new thing” about Himself, about leading, about serving Him, about trusting Him, and about myself in the process. I desire to go deeper this year than ever before in my walk with Him. My desire is to glorify Him more than I ever have. I am not sure what He will do to get me there, but I trust the One who will take me there. There is no doubt that this time next year, I will have been held by Him the whole way, and I will know things about Him I didn’t know before.
I am excited, and I can’t wait. I am a little (OK, a lot) curious and maybe a tiny (or, maybe a lot) apprehensive about how He will do it, but the great I AM already knows every step I will take, and I can truly rest in that.
Are you willing to ask God to take you deeper this year? Will you ask Him to teach you new things? Will you intentionally watch for the common themes He will begin showing you? Will you trust Him to take you through each experience, knowing that He knows about them before they even happen?
Happy New Year and happy “new things” in Christ!