The saying ‘life begins at 40’ is so true. When I became forty I began to pay more attention to my life, my accomplishments, my values, my dreams, my expectations. As I became more forty, forty one, forty two, the soul searching becomes even more intense. My mortality became more obvious to me as my body began to manifest all kinds of unusual behavior. As I went through this phase of my life, I began to feel a sense of emptiness in my life. There were areas I felt I should have achieved more in. I felt unaccomplished in those areas. I began to pray about them and the Lord dropped a word in my spirit, ’……………….. and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible’ Luke 1:36,37. It was a conversation where I was doing all the talking. I was praying. Then He said that. I was still talking, then it dawned on me that He had just given me a word, and that became my word for the year. My Spirit leapt for joy.
But when you receive a word, that is usually just the beginning of the journey. It helped to shape my perspective by giving me a picture of my future but I knew I had a long way to go. I welcome you to join me on this journey as we attempt to understand what God is saying to us. Elizabeth, the woman in question here is in her old age. She had probably given up on the issue of child bearing. Her husband, Zacharias, definitely had. After all, when the angel told him about the son, he presented the facts of their old age to the angel, for which the Lord shut him up till the child was born. But we all know how life can be. He believed yet he did not believe. The angel said to Zacharias, ‘Do not be afraid Zacharias, for your prayer is heard’. Apparently, He knew he and his wife were old, but he was still praying about having a child. They never really accepted their childless status. That was faith. Which is probably why, the Lord gave Him the son despite his last minute unbelief. I could identify with Zacharias in his non acceptance of his wife’s childless state.
I knew I was falling short in the areas I was concerned about, but my heart was yearning for more. I felt like a woman just before birth who knows she needs to push out her baby. Before now, they were things I looked forward to but I had gotten to the place where I had a sense of urgency. I needed a turnaround of events. I had been unproductive, unfruitful in those areas I needed my circumstances to change to being fruitful and productive. To buttress what He spoke to me, I was led to Hebrews 11:11,’ …through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised’. I realized that I could still achieve in those areas despite years of achieving nothing. I had to walk in faith and trust God who had given me a word, that He could do as He promised. Then He took me to Isaiah 54: 1-3, ‘Sing oh Barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child……………
Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings. Do not spare, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes, for you shall expand to the right and to the left’. By now I was beginning to get the picture that God was serious. I thought it was my prayer request, now it was His purpose and plan for me. I just prayed something He put in my spirit. He was taking it to the next level where I was to prepare and be expectant for what He had in store. So I began to pray about fruitfulness especially with these scriptures that He had given me, but all the scriptures I know kept popping in my mind. The first one was Psalm 128: 3, ‘……..your wife shall be a fruitful vine……’ which was talking about having children. I had to pause and remind the Lord, ‘Lord, no more of those’. That is not one of the areas I am talking about. I have four living children and one that is with Him. I definitely was not asking for more. Then I realized that it was all part of fruitfulness as far as God was concerned. Genesis 49:22-26 made that abundantly clear to me. In blessing Joseph on his death bed, Jacob spoke these words to him. ‘Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring……………………because of your father’s God who helps you, because of the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb.’ I realized that God’s idea of fruitfulness is threefold-from the skies, from below and children.
I understood the bit about children, but I needed further clarification for the other two. It dawned on me that being shepherds and farmers at that time, two things mattered, that the skies bring forth rain and that the ground brings forth harvest. As long as that cycle is in operation, fruitfulness is the end result. I don’t tend animals or farms, so I had to bring it home to the things I do. For me to be fruitful, I need the rain of God’s Word and the work of my hands to respond to the word. When that cycle is in operation, I will experience favor from people. Time and chance will make sure I meet the right people, in the right place at the right time. His mercy will cover my mistakes. His grace will exaggerate my successes. Why am I sharing this with you? I just believe I am not alone in my desire for more. We all want more. We all have bigger dreams. We all have higher heights to attain. Our only challenge is to put our desires in proper perspective. What is God saying to you? What is the direction He is pointing you to? That is the way we should go. Once we have been able to determine that, then it becomes easy and possible to attain. Frustration sets in when you are on a different page than God. Being God actually gives Him the right to dictate to us what we should do with our lives. Having come into relationship with Him gives Him even more rights to our lives. He created us. He had a plan. We are wired for that plan. Pressure and competition sometimes make us desire more or different than what we were created and wired to be. He puts it all in proper perspective. So I choose to walk with Him. In all, I am looking forward to a great 2013. I prayed a prayer which has become my anthem. I would like to share it because it summarizes my expectations
My 2013 Anthem 2013 is finally here.
All my expectations of the New Year will not be disappointed. I will know His peace continually no matter what the circumstances bring. His joy will continually overflow from my heart to make the world around me a better place. I will have continued assurance of His love and presence so I will not be afraid. I will be bold and courageous in the strides I take knowing He is with me. I will live by faith and not by sight because that is what pleases Him. I will be healthy and strong because He quickens my body and renews my youth like the eagle’s. Excellence is my watchword, so I run to win the prize not just partake in the race. I will have a purpose filled Year because I will be intentional in all I do. I will have a result filled and prosperous year 2013.