One Word that Makes All the Difference this Year

OneWord2015She pressed through the crowd. Moved past people who didn’t see her and weren’t looking. Past old, young, rich, poor, healthy and sick she squeezed. She just needed to get closer. Closer to this person who might finally be able to heal the brokenness she’d lived for over a decade. Closer to the one they said could restore sight and hope and even life. 

He stepped over the boat’s edge. The water splashing his feet, soaking his fisherman cloak. He couldn’t feel solid ground below, but in the boat he knew only time stood between him and the bottom of the sea. He stepped again, still standing. Looking out at the one who for all he knew was only a ghost. Except that he also knew this One could feed 5000 with a few loaves and fishes. . .

She ached for healing. He faced a raging storm. Their stories weave together with one word. A word that’s my focus this year:

CLOSER.

She had to get closer, even if Jesus was in the middle of a hostile crowd. He had to get closer, even if it meant stepping his weight into the surge.

I have to get closer because to do what is required this year for my family will take strength I can’t muster or imagine. Because I want to write bravely and that means being close enough to hear God’s heartbeat. Close enough to hear His voice, His whisper:

“This is the way you should go”

“I am with you”

“Do not be afraid”*

In this, the year I turn 40, it is all I want. More than freedom from struggle, more than success, more than happiness. Just. . . to be closer to Him.

There’s this odd story of a girl in the Old Testament—Abishag—a young girl, chosen to be the human blanket who kept blind, aging King David warm (see 1 Kings 1:1-4). At first, I was outraged at the way this girl was used (even if the Bible is clear David’s relationship with her was platonic). I mean, didn’t she want a life of her own?

But then I thought about it for a moment. What must it have been like to spend hours talking with the king God calls a “man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14)? What wisdom and perspective she got to hear every single day! She had access to more of David than his own kids, it seems, since we don’t read about anyone else sitting with the king day in and day out for however long Abishag did. And you know David wasn’t sitting there saying nothing. The guy penned Psalms like water pouring from a faucet.

She daily got to be with the one who was after God’s heart.

I want to be like that in 2015. Closer. Whatever else comes, like the woman pressing through the crowd and the man who stepped out of what he knew to walk on water with One he’d barely begun to understand.

Closer.

Do you focus on One Word each year? What’s yours? 

-Laurie

* Isaiah 30:21, Matthew 28:20, Deuteronomy 31:6

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