In the past, I have prayed for and chosen a word or phrase for the New Year, a small reminder of what I wanted to accomplish and work toward during the next twelve months. Sometimes, I found a Bible verse that became my inspiration. This year, my friend, Mary DeMuth, challenged her readers to choose a photo to inspire them. As a more visual person, I liked this idea very much.
I've recently found a website called Pinterest and started posting links. Here's my page: http://pinterest.com/donnashepherd (Watch out! It can be addictive!)
I browsed the photos on the web and on Pinterest. First I chose a picture of an eagle fishing. One of my favorite verses, and a chorus we sing in my church, is Isaiah 40:31.
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
That seemed like a great image for that verse, plus I imagined myself "fishing for men" as Jesus spoke of in Mark 1:17.
Then I saw a Ferris wheel. I thought perhaps that was appropriate for me as many times I seem to be going in circles!
But no – I want to find something that will inspire me for the future, not remind me of the past. I paused to ponder a few more before I finally landed on this one. Perfect!
Why? The door is worn and bit older - like me, but with age, hopefully, comes wisdom.
Who knows what's on the other side? I don't know exactly what year 2012 will be like. But I won't know what the Lord has in store for my life unless I open the door of my heart and life to God's leading.
While God has a plan for my life, I must participate fully, on purpose, and prayerfully follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. I must make the choice to reach out and turn that knob, or take that next step by faith, to find out what's on the other side.
What's on the other side may not be what I'm expecting – or even wanting. Many times, God's plans do not line up with mine. This coming year, I hope to be gracious in times of victory and what I might consider defeat. Of course – when God says "No," it might just mean that He has something better in store for my life!
I chose a verse from Colossians as my theme verse for the year. The apostle Paul is in chains as he writes this. Humbling, isn't it? He wants us to:
- Continue in prayer – and steadfastly. Not that quick, throw-up-a-prayer type communication with God.
- Watch with thanksgiving. Remember – Jesus will return to earth one day for His bride. Are you watching for Him?
- Paul asked for prayer. I pray this now. Pray for me if you have nobody else to pray for today, that God will open doors for the words that He wants to speak through me, whether in a book, as a speaker, teacher, or in song.
- Pray that I proclaim it clearly. The Amplified Version says, "speak boldly and unfold that mystery as is my duty." One of my favorite moments when speaking or teaching is that "Aha!" expression when someone in the class or audience 'gets' what I'm saying. Of course – the Holy Spirit brings light and understanding of the Word. Please pray that I am His conduit in a greater way this year. And I pray that for you, too.
That's my process for finding a Pic of the Year. Perhaps you'd like to find an image to inspire you. If you do, be sure to leave a link under this post so we can all be inspired.