So, I’m a little worried that my house is going to burn down in 2017. Even if the house burns down, it’s all good. Let me ‘splain
We’ve been focusing on a word each year. My experience with this whole “Word of the Year” thing thus far has involved some testing of my faith.
2016’s word was abundance.
According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia : abundance can mean “to cast together,” “to increase.” “to be heavy” “to overflow””to plait together,” “to augment,” “to multiply” “strength” “tumult,” “crowd” “to fill to satiety” “fulness”; “excellence” “a full breast” “copiousness”
Here’s how that played out this year:
Wealth: We didn’t win the lottery. I didn’t write a bestselling novel. In fact, Shane was out of work for 4 months. We never went hungry. Shane being home for a while allowed us to sure up the foundations a bit in our own home (foundations was, ironically, his word of the year). We got back into a better regular habit with family devotions. We worked with the kids on good habits and routines. We completed some home projects.
An Augmented Crowd: My youngest sister came to live with us. For most of the year, we had at least one sojourner, visitor, traveler or extra person living with us. There may have been a tumult and a crowd at a few points, but each person brought with them their own unique gifts and abilities, adding positively to the mix rather than detracting.
Power: Abundance can also have the connotation of dunamis, as in the might of the Holy Spirit. I experienced a miraculous work of the Spirit in my own heart this year.
A Full Breast: I also learned to see that so often I operate from a paradigm of scarcity–feeling like I don’t have the time or emotional resources to extend myself to others–rather than a paradigm of being connected to the Source of unending streams of Living Water. I extended myself a little more this year.
All in all, it was good. Everything from His hand is good. I just don’t understand some of that goodness at the time.
I think 2017’s word is going to be “abide” as “dwelling in the land” has been something that’s come up a lot in our scripture reading and devotions.
According to Webster, abide means:
1. (v. i.) To stay; to continue in a place; to have one’s abode; to dwell; to sojourn; — with before a person, and commonly with at or in before a place.
2. (v. i.) To wait; to pause; to delay.
3. (v. i.) To remain stable or fixed in some state or condition; to continue; to remain.
4. (v. t.) To wait for; to be prepared for; to await; to watch for; as, I abide my time.
5. (v. t.) To endure; to sustain; to submit to.
6. (v. t.) To bear patiently; to tolerate; to put up with.
7. (v. t.) To stand the consequences of; to answer for; to suffer for.
The words dwell and sojourn also have a connotation of waiting or tarrying. Tarrying as in tarrying in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes or tarrying in prayer. It is waiting in an attitude of quiet submission.
I see the connotations of bearing patiently, of suffering for. I see a usage of abide that involves sheltering in place in a deep cave. I can’t rule any of this out. He doesn’t promise ease in this world, but gives us Himself, riches greater than we can ask for or imagine. At least the word of the year isn’t “faith”*.
*Hebrews 11: 35 By faith…Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy.