As we were driving along I suddenly realized that because of the fog I had no idea what was beyond us more than thirty feet in any direction. Sure, I could see a bit of road ahead of us along with some pieces of field to the left and right of us, but outside of those borders, I was clueless.
That was the last Saturday of 2013, so naturally I was thinking about 2014.
It hit me. This year, like other times in my life, I'm in a place where there is a lot of FOG.
The fog gives me BORDERS. I really have no idea what God has in store for 2014. No amount of looking gives me even a HINT as to what lies ahead.
Many people are quick to offer me patches of field to the left and right...Yet, I'm quite happy right where I am. I am enjoying "the ride in the van".
In other words...
2013 came to an end. The fog settled in, leaving me with no idea as to what will be ahead. Though the fog surrounds me, I know where I am and I know what joy God gives me in that place.
Whatever IS beyond the fog, my word for 2014 is simply this, GATHER.
In Jeremiah 23:29 it says, "Is not My Word like fire, declares the Lord..." In the advent study, "Good News For Great Joy", John Piper wrote of this Word, "Gather ‘round that fire this Advent season. It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights."
As far back as August, I thought my word was going to be DECLARE. Then it kind of morphed into DECLARE and DEMONSTRATE. And now, all of that is tied together in one simple word - GATHER.
I chose gather because:
it's a call for ME to gather MYSELF around this fire of God's Word.
it's a call for ME to gather FOR myself the warmth of WISDOM that I find there.
it's a call to gather OTHERS with me by pointing them to God's Word.
it's a call to gather WITH others in order to go TOGETHER in the ways of WISDOM.
Love God. Love people. Fight sin.
It's the theme, the aim, of every year that I call earth my dwelling place.
In 2014, I have one hope and that is that God will gather His people to Himself.
My part is to DRINK and to DECLARE and to DEMONSTRATE.
God's Word is so many things and every single one of the things that it is can be summed up in this: LIFE giver and sustainer.
The fog may be thick, but of this I am sure, God is calling His people to GATHER; where He calls, He leads.
GATHERING near the Word by myself and alongside God's people, I will find everything necessary to continue hoping in God.
Hoping in God, 2014 will be a year well spent.
The fog may lift, clear, or thicken, but the fire, the fountain, the bread, will be there ready for us to gather, to drink, and to feast upon...This Word does not disappoint because it comes from the One who is the most satisfying.