Choosing “fruit” as my One Word for 2015 was a game changer for me.
My daily practice of praying for the fruit of the Spirit to grow in the hearts of every person in my house ushered in an acute awareness of how these lovely character traits function (or not) in my own life. It was convicting, to say the least, but also inspiring to see how God answered those prayers throughout the year.
When the time came to choose a new word for 2016, I thought about zeroing in on a single piece of the fruit of the Spirit. I still have room for improvement with all nine—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—so I could hardly go wrong with any of them.
Even as I was mulling over these attributes, though, the word “satisfied” kept popping up. I dismissed it at first, because it didn’t seem all that relevant. I’m generally pretty content, and I wanted a word with more immediate application to my life.
Then the month of December wore on and I became increasingly frustrated (some might say obsessed) with relatively insignificant things that normally don’t bother me.
My hair (mostly my inability to find an affordable stylist who can cut it exactly how I want it, every time). Finding the perfect sweater/top/tunic for special Christmas events. The way the pounds seem to be redistributing themselves on my middle-aged body. My ever-increasing reliance on my reading glasses.
Shallow, I know. But after devoting an entire morning to fretting about the aforementioned hair issue, I realized that maybe I’m not as content as I thought.
The Song of the Month I shared a few days ago sealed the deal. After listening to Jordan Feliz sing this moving ballad a half a dozen times, I knew.
My One Word for 2016 had to be “satisfied.”
Notice I didn’t say “self-satisfied.” My word has nothing to do with being complacent, lackadaisical or smug.
It’s all about contentment—not with the clothes I wear, what I look like, what anyone else does (or doesn’t do) or what I’m able to accomplish, but in God alone. Expressed in verse form, it looks like this:
“Who do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)
When this kind of satisfaction infiltrates my world, I can rejoice more easily with those who rejoice. I can wait prayerfully for God to open doors instead of trying to drum up opportunities on my own.
I can embrace whatever season I’m in without longing for the good old days or wishing for some ideal future scenario. I can do my best with the gifts God has given me and trust that He will use my efforts for His glory—no matter the size or scope of the outcome.
I want all this to be true in my life, but I can’t make it happen on my own. So Psalm 90:14 is now my daily prayer—for me and for the others in my home:
“Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.”
No matter the season, no matter the circumstances, no matter the struggle, He is enough.
Only by His grace can I live like I truly believe this.
And only then will my soul be satisfied.
P.S. I’m linking up this week with Dawn Klinge at Grace & Truth, Lyli Dunbar at #ThoughtProvokingThursday, Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart.