For many of the last new years, the Lord has impressed on me a phrase or a scripture. For instance, “Watch and see what I will do,” and all through the year I was aware of that. I remained alert, watching for evidence of God at work. Here we are, January 3, and until a few hours ago, I didn’t know what my 2013 phrase would be.
It was about noon when our daughter and granddaughter loaded up their car and left our house for a 1200 mile trip back to their home to Wisconsin. I wondered how my heart could keep beating after saying good-bye to them so often. We only see them once or twice a year. One son and his family live near us, and another son lives a nine-hour drive from here. Even when I can see the near family more often, I still hate to say goodbye.
Someone has said that every goodbye is a little death. I get that. We’re the ones who moved away from our kids. Our reason for moving was to follow what we believe the Lord was inviting us to do. “Count the cost” was the word we received at that time, but we had no idea what the cost would be. For me, these goodbyes are a form of suffering.
Today, when I had cried so hard and my head ached so bad my teeth felt loose, I prayed, “Lord, nobody can heal me but you!’
Checking my wristwatch, I realized I only had a couple of hours before the deadline for my monthly poetry assignment—“New Year’s Resolution.” Usually I tweak a poem endlessly before I send it in, but this time I dashed off a few lines and sent it in. Here it is. I chose the cameo form for its brevity:
to cherish my many blessings
my painful moments but a step
closer in my lifelong quest:
After submitting it to the writer’s group president, I also shared it with a dear friend who wrote back: “Reckoning” is one of my favorite words. It is a TEXAS word. Knowing Christ is the only thing that brings value to suffering. Another friend, not a Texan, said “reckon is a Bible word with teeth in it.”
I reckon I have found my word for 2013:
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, Philippians 3:10 (New Living Translation)