May I be willing to embrace fully my redemption and soar for You.
Every word has had layers of meaning. Every word has revealed itself like a shapes hidden in a picture, waiting for eyes to see the beautiful mystery. Every word holds hands with the word after. So “soar” now holds out its hand and waits.
I had carried a list of words with me for a while, like a lucky penny in my pocket – indwell, epiphany, jubilee, and complete. Any one of them would have been welcomed, a bit of celebration after three years of words that felt like discipline. Three years have taught me not to not fight the butterflies and the wonder of the unknown and the adventure. And so, list in hand, I prayed. And then a new word emerged, one that jarred me because I could only see it at its worst. It was at one extreme arrogant and haughty, at the other desperate and struggling. Bold is not comforting, bold is not tender. Bold is brash and abrasive and combative and fighting for a losing cause.
Or is it?
I sought out bold’s original meaning.
“Of good courage.”
And I discovered something else.
“Dwelling, Habitation. Inheritance.”
This morning, I quietly read 1 Chronicles 16 over and over – and then wrote down what the God-breathed words were saying to me. It’s a daily worship habit as of late, to write down the story I feel in the words, and then celebrate with prayer. Some might find it unorthodox. It’s become life-giving liturgy to me, and so it shall continue.
And today, my eyes saw the shapes being formed. The beautiful mystery of bold.
There it is – the very presence of God, there in your midst. He has not hidden Himself from you at all. He dwells with you, in your day after every day. It’s cause for great celebration. It’s cause for great wonder. Invite God to sit with you – gather everyone together and feast with Him, for He is a good, good Father, and He finds His greatest joy in you.
Let the feast become a party. Every day, a raucous party in honor of the Lord’s kindness. Every day, a family reunion at a picnic table that keeps adding benches. And sing – sing no matter your voice. Sing boldly of His love without end. He is strong God, He is mighty God, He is miracle God, He is judge. He is faithful God – faithful to generation after generation. He never breaks His promise – you can cling to that and not let go. He has not yet – and He won’t start now. He promises that He will never leave, always guide, provide and prosper and care for the finest of details. He promises He will complete all that concerns you. He offers His inheritance, and He never revokes the gift.
He claims you as His blood.
You, all for you. Misfit and gypsy and traveler and renegade you are. There is your name, written into His will and tattooed on His hand and embroidered on flags that wave so high. He calls you family, even when you wander. He loves you deeply, even when you question. He calls you mighty warrior, even when you crumble. He calls you His own, He calls you anointed, He calls you royalty. And He thunders, “Back away!” to destroyers.
He has you. God has you.
Sing your song, little renegade. Every day, sing out salvation. Every day, sing out glory. Every day, sing and don’t stop singing. For God has strengthened your legs and given you breath and made you bold. Lower-case gods long for your attention, but they are echoes of reality. God – the God who spoke Heaven and spoke Earth. He is real. He is true.
He is for you.
Write a love letter and send it sailing. Let your words declare your affection. Let your words cheer for the God who pours out His holiness on you. Let your words honor the God who causes mountains to tremble and gives life in season after season. Let your words join all creation in praise. Heavens. Sea. Trees. Everything that moves. Everything that breathes. Creation sings gratitude for Creator. And yet, He clothes you in love bright like a diamond and more precious than gold. You, little misfit. You, little traveler. He adores you.
He calls you His own.
Guard that love. Celebrate that love with all you have. Tend to that love. Be unafraid to be bold in that love. In all you do, with all you are, Gather and pour love. Every day. Every single day.
God of misfits, God of renegades, God of gypsy souls and weary travelers – You are my inheritance. You are my dwelling place. You have proven Yourself over and over again as a God who is faithful and unrelenting in Your love. You have called me child, knit me with your family and called me body of Christ, dressed me in splendor and called me bride. You have named me encourager, shepherd, sage, and set me with others who wear Your beautiful names for them. You have names for every one. You have given me eyes to see story and placed me in exquisite places where those eyes can see Your story in every story. You have given me a place at the picnic table, and then given me invitations to share so the table may grow longer and the party more raucous and the celebration louder. You breathe fear-melting love into my lungs, God of courage. May I be so bold as to ask for Your favor now? Strengthen me, let me not step into shadow or forget my journey. Let me not hesitate to hold others close. Let me not shy away from the battle. Let me not grow weary of listening or grow tired of praying. Let me not grow forgetful of Your song. Help me be unafraid of adventures in Your name, and keep my hands open to give those adventures away for Your glory.
Bold looks different to me now. She is all of the list and more. And I will not fight her embrace.
Dear 2016, may I be so bold. With all that I am, may I be so bold.
What is your word of the year? And what does that word mean to you – is it used to help you achieve a goal, or is it used to gain new perspective of the days you’ve been given? How may I pray for you in 2016? It would give me great joy to do that, you know.