This month our theme for Lifetime Remedy is renewal. I haven’t always had a word or verse for the year but was encouraged in the last several years by others who have done that. The idea is that it would be a special focus as you read God‘s word and pray and talk with others.

The first year after Bill passed my word was ‘hope’ and my verse for that was Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” My future as I had seen it was gone. I clung to this promise that God still had a plan and a purpose for me.                                                         

This year the word that has been coming to mind is “faithful.” This fall I studied the book of Hebrews with some amazing young women and Hebrews 11 speaks of the faithfulness of those that have gone before us. I have added my husband to that list because he ran his race with faithfulness, trusted in God, and had amazing love for his family and friends and even strangers he encounters along the way as we spent time in clinics and hospitals.

So the word faithful first of all reminds me of God‘s faithfulness to me. His faithfulness through my entire life but especially his faithfulness the past 6 1/2 years. A year and a half as I walked with Bill through his brain tumor diagnosis, and then the past five years as I’ve experienced his peace and presence through the hard time of learning to live without Bill. I want to live with more focus on God‘s goodness to me and all that he’s done for me.

At the top of that list is Him saving me by sending Jesus to die in my place and giving me the promise of eternal life with him and with my loved ones. I do think more about heaven than ever before.

Secondly, I want to be faithful to run my race with my eyes fixed on Jesus and with the perseverance that I need now more than ever. Chapter 12 of Hebrews talks about all of the faithful that have gone before us. I am focusing on Hebrews 12:1-3 this year:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily and ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race it is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, less you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”

I want to be faithful so one day I can hear God say, “well done good and faithful servant.” I know I won’t do it perfectly but through his Spirit and God‘s grace I will keep running my race until he calls me home. That is my prayer for each of us.

– Pat Estes

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash