Each year my husband and I pause to hear a fresh word from God for the New Year. It really sets the course for the months ahead, and Wayne and I often go back to the foundation of that promise throughout the ups and downs of the seasons. It boosts our faith in times of testing and provides guidance to steady our course.
As I sought Him, the Lord posed a question, “Do you remember the blossoming of the almond tree in early winter?” Yes, I answered, curious about the direction God was leading. Suddenly, my heart flooded with warm memories of the years we lived in Cyprus and Israel. In those lands, wild almond trees are scattered randomly over the countryside and are visible from the highways. They are the first trees to bloom, promising that spring is close.
The delicate, pale pink and white blossoms become a welcome sight amid the gray of winter. After the almond branch blooms, the days seems sunnier—even if they are not—because the blossoms are bearing the news of resurrected life. In Jeremiah 1: 11, 12, God asks a question to the prophet:
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see a branch of an almond tree. Then said the LORD unto me, You have seen well: for I am ready to perform My word.”
The almond blossom represents a living symbol that God promises to fulfill His Word. God is encouraging Jeremiah to embrace hope as never before when he sees the tree blossom; although there is no other sign of life from the dead, the almond is bursting with the promise of life.
As I see this sign from above bursting with new hope this year, I am stirring my faith as never before that God will answer all my prayers. Just as sure as winter throws off the shroud of barrenness and breaks into life in the blushing bloom of the almond tree, God will open the coffers of heaven and pour down solutions, answers, provision, and blessings that I cannot contain.
I am sure your prayer journals and the margins of your Bible are like mine—full of the dates, words, and promises that God has given through the years. You recall the times of testing when you were alone with Him in the darkness and did not understand, God gave hope in the form of promise for tomorrow. Many have been fulfilled, and some have not.
I am taking new hope this year as winter ends that God watches over His Word to perform it. I am going back to prophetic words that have been spoken, the dusty dreams that have been discarded, and the plans that have fallen through the cracks because of the length and demand of the journey. I am driving a stake into the ground in 2013 and rekindling the fires of my faith that God will not fail. He will not forget one good word and will bring about His beautiful promises in my life as declared.
I am inviting you to join me in 2013 in a rekindling of the fires of your faith. I encourage you to return to the promises and dreams of old—maybe you felt you would travel the world as an ambassador of Messiah, proclaiming His Good News… Maybe you dreamed of attending Bible school… Only you and God know the promises you share. Join me in lifting your faith above the fray and be inspired with new resolve as the almond tree yields its early bloom.
God is faithful. He watches over His Word to perform it. And remember, the blossom is not the fruit—or the real answer to your long-awaited prayer—it’s just the sign that God has heard and speeds His blessings your way.