I am not the only one who has been hanging onto their hat since 2013 rounded the corner! It seems like there is so much unrest with everyone. Some might be worried about jobs or finances, what the fiscal cliff means to them and other political matters, gun control or no gun control, while others are struggling with health issues, relationship problems, etc. I know this because I am the one that stands in the line at the supermarket while everyone around me including the cashier tells me about their problems. I don’t know why it is but people just feel safe telling me stuff!
If you know me at all, you know that I am typically not a worrier and most always upbeat even when things are not perfect. However, since I got the flu before Christmas, I am really struggling to get back on top of things. The flu has been gone a long time now but its residual effects linger. I don’t have a lot of energy and just yesterday had to start another round of antibiotics to try to get rid of the crud accumulating in my lungs. Jim got sick this week too so between the two of us we are one lethargic couple! Then today I found out that I might have breast cancer and am going to have a biopsy on Wednesday. About an hour after receiving that news another doctor’s office called and said my cholesterol is sky high and I need to get on meds immediately as well as a low cholesterol diet! I told him I would get right on that. So that’s been my week, how has yours been? I guess these are the perils of cramming all of your last minute doctor appointments and tests into the end of the year because your deductible for the year was already met! Amidst it all, I’m trying desperately to be my positive upbeat self and stay focused on the important things even though 2013 has been total chaos thus far.
All of that aside, as I’ve been praying about the new year and what God might want from me in 2013, I have been impressed with a couple of things. The first thing is that I feel God is calling me to pray harder this year. I’ve always been a prayer warrior but I can almost feel Him saying, “Put on your full armor…be prepared for battle.” Being the encourager that I am, this seems a bit negative for me to have those thoughts. I’ve really been struggling with that. I kept praying and thinking, really? Does He really want me to tell people this for 2013? Maybe I’m just overwhelmed with our sickness and it’s really not going to be that bad.
The second thing impressed on my mind has become my prayer to God. I told Him I want to go deeper with Him this year. I want to know Him more intimately and speak His messages more clearly for others to come to know Him as well. I know that of course by praying more I will automatically become closer to Him as I commune with Him each day. Since 2013 has begun I am beginning to wonder if by going deeper with Him that I may also have to experience more pain. You know the sayings… “No pain, no gain and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Then the Bible reminds me in 1Peter 5:8-11 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you…
I don’t want to bring a message of doom and gloom and say, “This year is going to stink! I can feel it!” However, I think God is telling us to pay attention. Get on our knees and resist the evil that is roaring around us like a lion seeking to devour us. There are also times when God uses our suffering and pain to draw us closer to Him. The good news is there is hope in the suffering that when it is over we will be perfected, established, strengthened and settled according to His Word.
So I personally declare this year the year of prayer and vigilance for me. I am putting on my full armor and it’s not coming off until my Lord takes me home. Just a few closing thoughts for you to ponder…Nothing in this world is going to change without our vigilance in the battle and fervent prayer against the enemy. Nothing in this world as evil as it may seem is too big for God to handle. A world without prayer will continue to spiral out of control. A world filled with prayer will someday be restored. Will you join God’s praying army with me today and put on your full armor? Are you willing to get into the battle and get a little dirty knowing that when it is over you will be blessed? How is God speaking to you in 2013? Be blessed and don’t forget…go be a blessing!