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Four Words

I reflect on the past twice a year and consider “new year” goals. One of those times is in August, mostly because I lived most of my adult life on a school schedule. The other time is now, as the new year begins.

A line drawing - person looking backward downhill at 2022, and a person looking forward uphill at 2023 - relates to my choosing four words for the new year.
Image by Rosy from Pixabay 

Today I’ve been thinking about what worked this past year and what didn’t. I looked back through our calendar to relive for a few moments the trips we took. Goodreads showed me the books I read this year. And my camera roll is full of pictures of walks through the neighborhood, trips out of town, and grandkids.

In the past, I named a few resolutions – many of which didn’t last more than a few weeks. Some years I chose one, four, even six words for the year. I have only been slightly more effective in using a word for focus.

I read David French‘s weekly email – it is always interesting but one thing I look forward to is the song he shares at the end. The lyrics of the song he shared today have me thinking through the resolutions, words, and challenges I was considering for the new year.

Read The Lyrics —

What if Jesus is okay with
Letting parts of Him remain a mystery?
What if Jesus is just smiling
When I think down here, I must know everything?

What if my views don’t reflect His fullness?
And there’s still so much more of Heaven yet to see
What if trusting Him is what He’s looking for
Would that be good enough, good enough for me?

What if Jesus sees what I miss
And He does not share all my thoughts on politics?
What if His body bridges these chasms
That I have dug out in my own self-righteousness?

And what if people I don’t agree with
Are the same ones pouring their perfume on His feet?
What if Jesus gets the whole of His reward?
Would that be beautiful, beautiful to me?

What if Jesus desires mercy
While I’m busy judging others for their deeds?
‘Cause if I have His heart and friendship
Then I must know He loves the liars and the thieves

What if I spend life in His vineyard
And at midnight He redeems my enemies?
What if trusting Him is what He’s looking for?
Would that be good enough, good enough for me?

What if Jesus’ wedding table
Holds the people that have hurt and wounded me?
What if I’m seated in the middle
While at the head are some who’ve only just believed?

Oh, what if after all I’ve been through
Everyone gets the same He promised me?
What if Jesus alone is the reward?
He would be good enough, good enough for me
He’d be more than good enough, good enough for me

Michael Ray Farren / Kristene Dimarco

He Is Enough!

As I read the words and the story behind the song, I made connections to these words I penned the other night … not particularly profound but a necessary reminder …

It’s not how many verses I’ve memorized
or even just how many I’ve read
It’s not the sacrifices I made to worship
or even just my attendance in church
It’s not the tears I’ve shed in prayer
or even the the simplest requests I’ve expressed
It is nothing I’ve done to earn his love
Nothing I can do to make him love me more
OR to make Him love me less
He loves because He is love personified!
His love is His gift to me
His invitation is to receive, not strive
To trust in His work, not my own

Jesus is my reward. He is enough. The current political climate, the cultural battles, the exhaustion that comes from reading the news – I can lay all of this at His feet resting in His love, His security, His redemptive plan!

Four Words

So – back to the New Year. I can make resolutions, choose a word or two for the year, and make plans. But in the middle of it all, I want to remember, God is not about my pulling myself up by my bootstraps! He’s not about my reforming myself one resolution or word at a time. He’s about transforming me from the inside out, daily, hourly, moment by moment, leading me, guiding me, teaching me, wooing me with His love!

So I offer these four words that have been in my heart this weekend – I offer them to Him, asking for His wisdom and direction – are these areas that will help shape my relationship with Him and with others? Will these “tune my heart to sing His praise?”

The four words that stand out today, words that resonate deeply for 2023 are relationship, connection, discipling, and joy.


Father, you who set the sun and moon in place,
who created time, and
who knows the fulfillment of time,
Teach me to redeem the time
To be counted worthy of the calling
But even more, Lord, teach me more and more
About Your love, may I explore its depth, breadth,
Length and width – this love that surpasses knowledge
Filling me to the measure of all the fullness of God –
Tuning my heart to sing Your praise
For Your great glory in the power of Your Holy Spirit –

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