I’m not big on a theme for each new year, be it a word, picture, or scripture. Partly it’s that whole “if everyone else is doing that, I don’t want to” thing. Partly, I think, it’s fear I won’t hear the right thing and I’ll be left scratching my head when December ends. So this year, just as I was congratulating myself for not needing to conform to the crowd in this activity, the Lord hit me upside the head with His word for me for 2012.
On January 1, I was reading my Bible as usual, with a fairly new worship tune still running through my head. I ended up in Joshua 1. (I’m trying a different Bible reading schedule this year. I’ll let you know when I figure out if I like it or not!) So I’m humming Matt Redman’s Never Once and I read Joshua 1:9. The words are God’s words to Joshua, but they felt as if they leapt off the page, as if He spoke them directly to me, Anne Mateer, in 2012.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Matt Redman’s lyrics, “Never once did we ever walk alone, never once did You leave us on our own. You are faithful, God, You are faithful” continued to ring in my head. Before I knew what I’d done, I’d bracketed that verse and written “my verse for 2012” in the margin of my Bible! What’s up with that?
It all resonated with me, though. God pointing out my sin of pride over the whole yearly theme thing. The remembrance that He has been with me through all the newness of this past year. The realization that this year, like every year before it, will be a journey into unknown blessings and trials. But it did frighten me a little bit. After all, such a word could mean calamity coming in droves, though it could mean trusting Him in the good things that make me nervous.
Or, most likely, both.
After all, when God said these words to Joshua, Joshua stood at the threshold of great victory— preceded by great battles. Through the years of conquering the Promised Land, God never left Joshua. And Joshua grew greatly in strength and courage.
So I venture into 2012 holding tightly to God’s faithfulness. Again I commit myself to go wherever He leads, even if at first that place sparks trembling and dismay. Why? Because I know where I’ve been. I’ve experienced His faithfulness. The reality of the past verify’s His promise for the future.
I was going to put the video of Matt Redman singing Never Once, but then I found this video of him talking about when and why he wrote this song and I hoped it would encourage you as it did me.