“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
But what does this month’s focus verse and the boxing advice my son gave me from his coach have to do with “Grace, New Beginnings, and Jubilee?” Everything.
- The number five in Biblical circles represents the number of God’s Grace. 7/31/2018 marked exactly five weeks from the day my family embarked on a journey to relocate across the country, which I have appropriately named the “Summer of Adversity.” It was the last day of living as nomads, in hotels and homes, looking for our new home.
- The number eight in Biblical circles represents the number of new beginnings…when old things have come to completion/finished, and it’s time to bring in the new. 8/1 rings in the eighth month of the year, and 8/2018 signals exactly eight years since our family started our last new journey in a [different] new city on an amazing path filled with trials and troubles, new friends and family, much ministry, and growth and goodbyes.
- The number fifty in the Bible represents The Year of Jubilee (See Leviticus 25). This Year of Jubilee is similar to what the number eight represents as an end to the past seven sets of seven years, except it is designed to be a year-long celebration for the new beginnings promised to come. As The Lord sees fit, 2018 will see me personally begin a Year of Jubilee milestone on my 50th birthday; and, I will celebrate for certain!! All. Year. Long. This new season will be partly dedicated to ending what has not served me well over the last 49 years. Ironically, my Summer of Adversity has helped tremendously already in that sense. I suspect that the process of clearing out old thought patterns, unhealthy and unprofitable habits, and unproductive and negative relationships, had actually begun right around the beginning of 2018, but I was too used to my comfort zone to realize it. My Summer of Adversity has given me a crash course in “shaking the dust off of my feet,” and I have learned it well! In about five weeks flat. What amazing Grace! Now it’s time to focus on all the new in store ahead!
Now back to taking hits and standing in the face of adversity. My son pointed out that when you watch a good boxer, it will almost be unnoticeable when he or she gets hit. They take it and keep fighting, or they allow their discipline to kick in…they just do what they have trained themselves to do. So how about you and me? Do others notice when we’ve been hit or drop kicked by life and circumstances? Or do we just lay down for the count just to make the attacks stop? Let us train well in times of rest, so that when (not if) adversity comes, our strength will not be small.
Well, we have a couple of new articles by guest writers/experts coming in the next couple of months, but we will also be back to our "Twelve Months of Giving" theme in September! Thanks for hanging in there with me this Summer as I directed my focus, energy, and prayers to a life-transforming experience! I praise God for His faithfulness and Grace!! And I love you all dearly!
As always, I’m praying for you…
With Great Expectation,