I am a planner, and every January, I take great joy in plotting out the year ahead. I list my goals for the year and write down the steps I think I need to take to get there.
This year, looking into 2021 feels a little scary. We are still in the middle of the pandemic. We are isolated and yet surrounded by quarantines, curfews, racial injustice, unemployment, weather events. The list goes on and on. And far too many of us are facing loss. It's discouraging.
I had just decided to ditch my planning efforts (and just tiptoe into 2021) when I heard a fantastic episode of the Your Move podcast with Andy Stanley.
For those of you that aren't aware, the purpose of Your Move is to provide information to help you make better decisions and live with fewer regrets. Who doesn't want that? I listen as often as possible.
Source: Your Move with Andy Stanley
It would take too long to rehash the entire podcast, but here are the punchlines:
- The episode is titled: Prioritizing What's Important and was broadcasted on January 3, 2021.
- It retells the story of the biblical character, Nehemiah, a 5th-century leader, who heard about and was devastated by the destruction of Jerusalem's city.
- Nehemiah spent months in prayer and then stepped out in faith to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls- in record time.
- And when faced with discouragement and distractions, he found a battle cry.
From the top of the city walls, he would shout: "I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down."
I love the phrase. I love the focus. I love Nehemiah's faith.
So what great work do you want to do in 2021? Maybe there's more than one. Give it some thought. Share it with us at SEEDS of Hope. Let's get started on rebuilding. Remind yourself—when the distractions come, "I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down."
And like Nehemiah, let's begin our missions with believing prayer to the awesome and powerful God who is standing by with resources to help us get those missions accomplished!
A Prayer for 2021:
Father, I pray that this year would be a time for healing for all of us. Remind us to look at your promises, not the world's problems. Encourage us to do what's possible to rebuild our homes, our families, and our cities. Remind us to stand by and watch you do the impossible—miracles for our good and your glory.
In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.