Hope you have unthawed after the low temperatures and are now warm and cozy reading this letter by the fireplace with a mug of hot tea or strong coffee.
Yes, I know I’m late to the party… It’s already mid-February and I’ve only just now chosen my “word for the year.”
A word to grow on, a word to marinate in my heart and soul for transformation, courage, or wisdom.
Musings to help prompt such a word:
- What do I have to offer God as this year begins?
- What do I most need from God as the year unfolds?
This year the answer to both of those questions appeared as one word. In Hebrew, no less!
HINENI (pronounced hee-nay-nee) Hebrew for “Here I Am”
All I have to offer God this year is… me. Just as I am – imperfect, occasionally outspoken, often weary, but still enthusiastic and deeply willing. Wholehearted. Available.
And what I need to hear from God? The confirmation He is here. With me. Present. Listening. Seeing. Knowing, Holding. Lifting. Shepherding. Empowering.
This word, Hineni, appears eight times in the Old Testament when people respond to a divine call from God. “Hineni Here I am” is said with surrender, enthusiasm, and a desire to obey by doing what is requested.
This year I want to quieten my own chatter long enough to hear God’s “Where are you beloved Cindy?” To be available as an extension of His love, encouragement, grace, mercy, kindness, and blessing. Even on those days when I feel like hiding under the covers and not answering at all.
Remember when God called out to Moses from the burning bush, “Moses, Moses?” Moses responded “Hineni Here I am,” which catapulted him into an incredible rescue of God’s people. (Exodus 3.4)
In the prophet Isaiah’s vision, he “heard the voice of the Lord, saying ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for us?’ Then I said ‘Hineni Here am I! Send me.’” which changed the world. (Isaiah 6.8)
When God calls forth ordinary people to do hard things, do we respond “Hineni Here I am?”
“Lord, you know I’m not qualified, not strong enough, not knowledgeable in this field, not a good fit for these people, etc. etc… but if you want me, Hineni Here I am. Open the doors, clear the pathway, provide the resources, and empower me with your Holy Spirit.”
I have a new journal to list each time I say “Here I am” to God during 2023. In both the little and big.
What gives me courage to embrace Hineni as my word for the year? The promise in Isaiah 58.9 “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say Hineni “Here I am.”
My word for 2023 works both ways! God first says “Hineni Here I am” to me. He is with me. Which gives me courage to respond to His call upon my life with “Hineni Here I am.”
What is your word for the year and what is one thing you are learning about it?
Every Blessing, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”
©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, she has authored 16 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” , “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most,” “God’s Purpose for You,” and “The Courage to Write.” (Purchasing my books here benefits me as an Amazon associate.) She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com