Being the lover of words that I am, I get really excited each December to choose my one word for the next year.
Last year, my word was “fresh.” I wanted a fresh heart, ready to receive God’s word and His goodness, and it was a year of “fresh” in so many ways. Our family experienced a lot of changes and we entered new seasons of life, and in it all I did indeed see the goodness of God in fresh and new ways.
As this year ended, I thought I already had my one word narrowed down to a couple of different options, and this morning I sat down with my journal and my Bible, prepared to pray and seek and settle on one of those words.
But, much to my surprise, God led me in an entirely different direction, as He so often does. How many times do I think I have it all figured out, just to find myself at His feet in a blubbering mess, once again shocked to hear what it is He’s saying to me? Ummm… too many times.
Anyway, I have just started a study on the book of James, and I am going through the book verse by verse. Today I hit James 1:21, which says, “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” I’ve read that verse multiple times and I’ve taken note of the putting away and the receiving, but today my heart stopped on that word implanted.
Bear with me here as I chase the Lord down this rabbit trail. So, according to Webster’s dictionary, this word implanted means “to fix or set securely or deeply; to set permanently in the consciousness or habit patterns.” Therefore, when I received the word of God as truth, it was securely, deeply, and permanently set in me. In other words, it was ROOTED. If something has been implanted, it has taken root.
Now the Bible says a lot about having strong roots and being rooted in Christ. There is the parable of the sower and the seed found in the Gospels. Colossians 2:7 speaks of being rooted and built up in Christ. The first Psalm talks about being like a tree planted by streams of water. In Ephesians we see that we should be rooted and grounded in love.
But this is the passage that the Lord led me to today that solidified my one word for 2020: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
That’s my one word for 2020. After my year of fresh, it’s time to circle back around and focus on my roots.
Roots tangled up in trust.
Roots by the stream so that there is NO FEAR when the heat comes.
Roots that provide sustenance so there is no anxiety when all seems dry.
Roots that keep me grounded in my identity in Christ.
Roots that hold me upright when the winds of the world try to knock me down.
Roots that hold my family tree in place, so my children know they are loved and cared for and created for a purpose.
Roots that withstand the trials of time.
Roots that press down and press out and press on to grow stronger and stronger.
Roots that extend deeper and deeper still to grow a tree that produces fruit in all seasons.
Roots in Christ.
So long, 2019. 2020 is taking me back to my roots.