Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, my word, the one word is the Word

Right after the New Year began, I read a post at Take 90 West where Lisa talks about not making New Year’s resolutions. After years of planning to wake up and be perfect on Jan. 1 and then, of course, failing, she’s given up making those resolutions. Instead, she’s chosen a word, one word, to focus on for the New Year. She picked a word that she believes will impact her life. She chose the word ‘forgive.’ (it’s a great post – you should go over there read it for yourself).

When I read her post, it immediately reminded me of something I had read in a book several months ago. Something about a “one word” kind of Bible study or prayer method or something like that. Trouble is, I could not remember for the life of me where I had read it. I couldn’t remember the book title. I couldn’t remember the author. All I could remember was the general idea of the one word study.

I spent the next two days driving myself crazy trying to figure out where I had read it. I wanted to go back and read it again. I looked through my book shelves at home. I looked through the book shelves in Scott’s office. I looked through my old Amazon.com orders. Nothing jumped up and said, “This is it!” Nothing.

In bed last Tuesday night, but not asleep yet, I prayed, “Lord, bring it to my mind.” I knew there was something to this whole one word thing and I wanted to go deeper.

The next day at choir rehearsal I noticed the lyrics of one of the songs we were practicing were written by Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin. The names caught my eye because we had just watched Louie Giglio’s Fruitcake and Ice Cream video with another group at church just a couple of days before. Giglio is not a name you just gloss over (plus, the video’s pretty much WOW and not easily forgotten either). So, when I saw his name on the music I said something about it out loud.

That prompted Scott to say something about I am not but I know I AM, which is a book written by Giglio. Which then prompted me to squeal with delight because God had answered my prayer right then and there. That was it. That was the book that talked about the one word study.

I could hardly wait to get back to Scott’s office and pull that book off the shelf. Sure enough, right there beginning on page 57. The scripture he studied one word at a time was John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Giglio took one word of that scripture per day, studied, meditated, and prayed about that one word. All day long.

He started with the word and. By the end of that first day, he realized and was more than just a conjunction. Well, and is never the end. Something always follows and. There is more to come. We have so much more to look forward to in Jesus! Oh, that gets me excited!

Giglio’s revelation on the word became was even more simple and profound. As he studied the word became, he began to see it was a compound word. Two words: Be. Came. I Am – the present tense, active form of the verb, to be. The great I AM—became. BE. Came. I AM CAME!

That, of course, affected his study on the word beheld. Be. held. Be held. He did what?....He held. Do you see it? Can you feel it? The great I AM holding you? Arms full of grace and truth, holding you?

The one word study of that particular verse really gives me the perspective that God, the great I AM, truly is the one that has traveled the distance just to get me. And He’s traveled not just the distance between heaven and earth, but between life and death.

Sometimes I take that distance for granted.

Sometimes I think I try to convince myself (and unfortunately I sometimes I succeed!) that I’m the one doing all the traveling. I get so weary on the journey. My feet hurt. I get impatient with other travelers. I get so tired of trying to follow and understand all the road signs. The voice on my GPS gets obnoxious and repetitive so I turn it off. I close my eyes for just a minute and I miss a turn. I get distracted when I take rest stop breaks. I need to stop for a snack. I’m whining “are we there yet?” And what about this suitcase I keep lugging around everywhere??!

All this started when I read a post that resonated with me about not being able to wake up perfect and be a different person on January 1.

And that led me to the reminder that I am not perfect; I am not but I know I AM.

And that reminded me that the journey I’m on is headed home, not anywhere else. The Great I Am came and made that way plain for me.

And that in the end, He will still be The One doing the traveling. He's coming again. To get me.




There is so much more.

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7-8


Jules from "The Roost" said...

WOW! wonderful truths!!!!

The Pink Potpourri said...

wow! great post!

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Oh my word. AMEN to this post. I loved it and am so glad you told me about it!
I always knew I said the word 'and' all the time, for good reason!

PaulaW said...

Wow! (that'a all; just wow!)