The sky is soft and gray, like a cashmere sweater wrapped around this last day of the year. I sit and enjoy the Christmas lights strung along the edges of the piano for a bit longer, their delicate brilliance in peaceful contrast to the subtle dreariness outside my window. I am home from work, recuperating from a flu-like illness that has stalked so many over these last weeks. I am grateful to feel better, on the mend. To have a quiet home to rest and contemplate. I've been thinking a lot about another of my favorite metaphors. Geography. I love the image that life experience can be compared with exploring new landscapes. This concept especially intrigues me as we sit on the cusp of a New Year. I see myself as an explorer in new territory. I face forward, my chin up, poised for new mindsets and new perspectives as I engage with this land. I feel excited.
I am asking, too, a bold question: What can I expect from God in this new territory? This seems almost brazen--overly presumptuous. I am bold. "God, I expect your affection, comfort, wisdom, provision, creativity, joy, contentment, strength, health and wholeness, a sound mind, grace, favor, abundance and peace.
And then I realize that He has already promised me these things and generously fills my life with lavish gifts. My response is to receive, to stay fixed on practicing viewing every circumstance in my life, every corner of my geography through His lens, practicing Kingdom perspectives, becoming more fluent in Kingdom language.
I love that God has provided this wonderful geography for the year ahead. I love that I am a woman leaning against grand oaks that grace this land, peering up through vast branches at blue sky overhead. I am enthusiastic that I can travel at my own pace. Walking some days. Running at times. Happy to follow trails that take me to overlooks where I can view the horizon, admiring the beauty of mountain landscapes, powerful images that remind me of God's majesty in my life. I am grateful for wooden benches along the way. Rest a way of life in this location. Wide meadows stretch before me where I can set up a picnic and feast on what God provides. I listen to a rushing brook, flowing with pure refreshment. Birdsong is ever present. This land is filled with His gentleness and mercy toward me, and when it rains and thunder growls, He creates dry shelter, a fire to warm my hands, the comfort of His presence, the glow of His affection. A beautiful silence, His extravagant peace.
And you, beloved? What are your expectations of our kind Father in 2019?