Yesterday I used a tool on a Christian website to discover my Word of the Year for 2020. Carefully and honestly I answered each question, knowing that no else would know what I had disclosed with my responses. At the end of the exercise a single word was revealed,
To be honest my first reaction was confusion, this was not what I had expected. STAND reminded me of stagnant, immobilized, lacking motion. It was not the word I thought I would receive at a time when I’m in the midst of so much change in my life. STAND was the last word I would have chosen for myself. I wanted to move forward I did not want to spend more time in this place of misery and chaos.
I had answered all the questions honestly and openly, so instead of discarding STAND and completing the quiz again, I decided instead to accept the word and try to understand why God had chosen it for me. As my day unfolded, full of the kind of distractions that prevent my mind from resting and the kind of activity that hinder my heart from hearing the still small voice in my soul, I realized understanding would take some time.
However, today in the cocoon of the early morning silence of my home, God began to reveal to me His wisdom in choosing my word. First, I read a devotion by Joyce Myer on Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
God knows all too well how broken my heart has been this year as I walked the path of my father’s death from cancer. Yes, brokenhearted, that’s me. That’s all of us in one way or another. The Devotion goes on to say that it is “important not to park at the point of our pain and remain there.” God wants us to move forward, shake off our past sin and pain, and seek the life and future that He has planned for us.
Now I’m really confused. Yesterday morning God gave me the word STAND and now he is telling me not to PARK. My first thought is, make up your mind! But when I opened my heart, and tried to listen to what God was saying, I realized stand and park are not the same word. When we park a car, we turn off the engine and, if we still remember Drivers Ed, we put on the emergency break. The car is parked. It is not moving until something intentional happens, we turn the engine turned on, or the car is pushed with the force of a dump truck.
The word stand is different. Stand is a state of stillness and strength. Stand is peace, in the face of chaos. Stand is pausing, assessing what is going on around you, then taking a step forward.
I opened my study Bible and looked for verses for the word STAND. This is the first one I read-
Therefore put on the armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
I realize now I’ve been PARKed in my own misery and pain, and I’ve not been STANDing in the strength of God. One of the fundamental poses in Yoga is mountain. To the uninformed it looks like everyone is just standing there. But in the stillness of standing the foundations of stability, peace and strength are being planted in the muscles and core of the human body.
Standing in God’s love and trusting Him provides the same grounding and stability to our spirit and soul. My study Bible includes the definition, to endure, for stand. Yes, I need to endure this time and lean on God for wisdom and peace.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around you like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of troubles.
While at first I really did not comprehend why God gave me STAND as my word, I’m starting to. He is telling me to stand in His peace, stand in His love and stand in His strength as I face the year ahead, a year filled with uncertainty, chaos, and stress. Stand and He will guide my steps forward.