Often I choose a Bible promise for the new year. For whatever reason, I didn’t this time. Maybe because of last year—so wild, chaotic, and unexpected, leaving me feeling a bit trampled. But the precious habit has always blessed me.

Skimming journal notes, I found this, written four years ago:

I’ve chosen my verse for 2017. “…Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10b).

What would “so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” look like? I couldn’t fathom what God has designed, but I feel confident—since he led me to that verse—it will be amazing.

But I’ve learned to be attentive because his amazing packages don’t always come in shimmering paper with billowing bows. Some come in rough wrappings—brown paper and twine.

We’ve had plenty of those surprise gifts, haven’t we? Hidden blessings. Treasures in unexpected places. Disappointments the Lord used in amazing ways.

He has a way of turning baffling bits of life into something beautiful, adding value and worth to our story.

I choose to remember this—when a package comes wrapped in brown paper and twine. The gift doesn’t seem pleasing…but later, after I look closely, deep in the crinkled wrapping I find a blessing.

I choose to remember this—when a package comes wrapped in brown paper and twine. The gift doesn’t seem pleasing…but later, after I look closely, deep in the crinkled wrapping I find a blessing. Click To Tweet

The year is young. While I pray and plan, I won’t attempt to guess what’s coming. I’m satisfied knowing this:

  • The Lord is good. My circumstances don’t alter that fact.
  • He goes before me.
  • He designs my steps.
  • He has a purpose in everything that touches my life.
  • He will provide sufficient grace.

Looking back, God did some beautiful work in my life in 2017. What will he do in 2021? I don’t know. But I’ve ask him to renew and refresh my vision. Proverbs 29:18 comes to mind. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The Amplified Bible calls vision “revelation of God and His work.”

I love that word vision, probably because I’ve always been a big dreamer. To have a vision is to have a dream, plan, or goal—a mental picture of something for the future, the ability to see beyond today, ever watchful for the revelation of God and His work.

To have a vision is to have a dream, plan, or goal—a mental picture of something for the future, the ability to see beyond today, ever watchful for the revelation of God and His work. Click To Tweet

Vision is looking forward. Sometimes I get so caught up in future plans that I miss out on today. I’ve learned some balance, but I’m often thinking about the future, and I have a vision of how events will turn out.

Being an optimist, I expect a happy outcome. I expect life to go according to plan. Sometimes, of course, it doesn’t. Sometimes treasures come wrapped in brown paper and twine.

Even knowing events may take an unexpected turn, I’ll keep on dreaming. Without vision, life is dull…humdrum…lifeless. Vision adds sparkle to our days. We can use a little sparkle.

Do you have a vision for this year? A plan for next month? A goal for today?

Vision is all about seeking God and his will and trusting him to bring the plans to reality. It’s about trusting him in big things and small.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to shake off last year’s dust and align my expectations with God’s immeasurable power. Whatever he sends, even if it comes wrapped in brown paper and twine, I can be sure it’s good. And if I look hard, I may find it’s amazing.

It’s late, but I’ve chosen a favorite verse as my anchor for the year. “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

If you’ve chosen a promise for the year, please tell me about it. And I’d be grateful if you’d share this article with your friends!

© Dianne  Barker 2021

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