January 2023 - Exploring Hope Today
“Unless change becomes the constant of our own lives, we’ll cease to be change agents in the lives of others.”
– David Timms, Living the Lord’s Prayer
Happy new year! So many possibilities, so many new thoughts and horizons to discover. Yet, with every new year, we find change. For me, the beginning of a new year is an opportunity to take an inventory of our lives and identify the changes needed to help us grow closer to the Lord.
As a young adult, I had a small business, and I was always looking for ways to make changes in my own life and in the lives of those who would come to me for personal fitness training. Today, I feel that time is moving very quickly, and change is happening daily within all areas of our lives – our culture, families, relationships, jobs, careers, living conditions and locations. I’m reminded of something I heard years ago: “Nothing is permanent except change.”
However, with change comes growth, and with growth comes change. We have opportunities every day to grow stronger in our dependence on the Lord when change comes into our lives. When we choose growth in times of change, we will see our love for others grow as we learn how to forgive, receive grace, and show mercy.
So, my reading, contemplation and prayers have led me to offer this as our word for the year for 2023: grow! We will be looking at the many ways God wants to grow the ministry of TWR Women of Hope. We believe the harvest is ripe, and as we see the next generation of leaders coming into the fields of ministry, we want to be ready help them grow. We also want to help women see how God’s Word provides so many opportunities that enable each of us to grow closer to him as we surrender our lives to Jesus.
Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
While some change can be traumatic and devastating, change can also be lifesaving. Change can provide safety, rehabilitation, and a new purpose in life. Change can bring a new creation with new ideas, different and better ways of loving others and living out a life of service to the Lord and others. Change can bring transformation and give us a new life filled with hope for the future.
This year, I pray we will embrace the changes the Lord is making in our lives and commit to seeking God’s guidance in each decision. We believe God is asking us to trust him to grow the ministry of Women of Hope and to commit to keeping our hands on the plow as we plant the seeds, water the plants, pull the weeds, and watch and wait for God to bring the harvest of hope in Jesus to women around the world and across generations.
In Him our hearts rejoice.
Dr. Peggy Banks