I always like to think of one word for the new year as a “theme,” going forward. One year it was present, because I wanted to be present and in the moment with my kids. Another year it was joy, because I wanted to find the joy in the everyday things of life. For 2020, there has been a word that has been on my mind the past couple weeks and that is, boldness.
I recently read about the word boldness in my current favorite read, Brennan Manning’s, The Furious Longing of God, (I cannot get enough of this book and I have referenced it several times).
He has a chapter on boldness in which he urges us to come to Jesus with boldness and state clearly what you need in prayer. It got me thinking about being bold in other aspects of life as well, not just in prayer. Admittedly, when I first read this chapter on boldness, I didn’t think it applied to me as much as it maybe did to someone else in my life. “Wow, they could really use some boldness,” I thought. And so maybe they could, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize, so could I.
There is a story in the gospel about Jesus restoring a blind man’s sight. Bartimaeus comes across Jesus along the roadside and calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stops and asks Bartimaeus to come to him. When the blind man comes closer, Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus responds, “Lord, let me receive my sight” (Luke 18:35-43, Revised Standard Version). Brennan uses this as an example of boldness in his book. Bartimaeus at first doesn’t directly ask Jesus what he really wants. But after being prompted by Jesus, he boldly asks for his sight.
I loved my Synopsis of the Gospels class in college. I thoroughly enjoyed comparing the gospels and learning how the accounts of Jesus’ works were written differently. I kept my text book that we used in class to compare different accounts of the same story. I looked up the Bartimaeus’ story in my text and the healing of the blind man is written in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In reading each account of this story, words or parts are slightly different. However, what Jesus says in response to Bartimaeus is exactly the same in each of these three accounts, “What do you want me to do for you?”
I am encouraged this next year to seek Jesus boldly. To make my needs clearly known to Him. I also plan to look for other ways to be bold in my day to day life. Talking to someone new or even just be the first to initiate an important conversation, continued work on my writing and submitting it to other outlets, are just a couple ways I can think of to be bold. Thinking about boldness and how it applies to motherhood is another challenge I gladly accept.
So I am also encouraging you to be bold if you need that in this new year. If this is applicable to you in your walk with God, then let it be so. Jesus is asking you, “What do you want me to do for you?” Don’t be afraid to really put it out there and state boldly what it is you need. Think of Bartimaeus and his bold request for sight.
If this is applicable in your life to be bold where you haven’t been, then do so. It might be that what you are asking of Jesus requires you to in fact be bold and make some things happen in your own life. Take the risk, make the first step, and go boldly in 2020. Happy New Year!