A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.
This may seem like a strange question to ask now that we are more than a month into 2019, but stay with me.
Perhaps you can relate. Some years I feel so excited for the new year to start and just can’t wait to get on and get busy; But then there are those years when I feel so overwhelmed by what lies ahead and by what needs to be accomplished that I find myself procrastinating, wishing the holiday would last just a little while longer.
But this year was different. I was clear in my mind as to what needed to be done and had everything well planned out (or so I thought). I got off to a great start, almost bolting out of 2018 but then I suddenly found myself at a standstill. Waiting. Waiting for documents. Waiting for decisions to be made (by other people). Just waiting. Reluctantly, I put some things on hold and tried my best to do what I could to move other things along, all the while trying to adjust my attitude. Ever mindful of the deadlines fast approaching, this was no easy task. Eventually, I started to doubt myself and then just as quickly, God’s plans for me in 2019.
The one question I did not ask myself, at least not at first was: are you ready for 2019? Of course, I thought I was ready, at least as far as my thoughts, ideas and plans go. In my mind, that is. I was not, however, prepared in my heart for any eventuality and for what that might mean for my well-laid plans. But that’s where faith comes in, doesn’t it? Mixed with trust and of course, wisdom. Faith in God. Trust in God. And wisdom (from God) to know how to proceed in the situation.
So how do we make ourselves ready? The key is simple; it lies in preparation. What I have learned is that as much as dreaming and planning is important, the preparation of my heart in readiness to carry those dreams and plans to fruition, no matter the circumstances, is just as critical, if not more so. However, preparation encompasses more than just being ready for any challenging times we might anticipate.
Benjamin Disraeli famously said that we can prepare for the worst but should expect the best. This, of course, takes on new meaning for believers who experience God as a loving Father who gives good gifts and always works everything together for our good. So, while it is important to prepare ourselves for challenges, it is also important to prepare our hearts to receive and fully engage all the wonderful opportunities that lie in store for us this year.
There are many things we can do on a practical level to prepare for anything, from cold and flu season to (a very topical issue right now) power outages or even an international trip. All we have to do is google it and a list of dos and don’ts, as well as things to buy will be at our fingertips.
But the preparation of the heart is another matter entirely. It is my belief and experience that the only way we can truly and adequately prepare our hearts for the future and what lies in store, whether to face a challenge or to recognise and receive a blessing, is to foster our relationship with our Heavenly Father; to come to know Him and trust Him to lead us as we go, according to His perfect timing.
Are you ready for 2019 and all that it holds? Let’s grab it with both hands knowing that the God of our salvation not only goes before us but is also our rearguard … in all circumstances.