2015 was a memorable year; an unraveling year. The year I woke up and stayed up. Each new month replaced a lie with a truth. Each season, an assurance replaced an assumption. And each moment, I grew increasingly aware of my purpose on this earth – to trust God and love Him above all else.

Up until now, I’ve skirted through life on the backs of my parents’ faith. Their prayers covered and upheld me; their relationship with God defined my perspective of Him, their perspective of the world shaped mine. Their thoughts towards me defined me.

I have good, godly parents; but my parents are not God. Before I was their child, I was His child. And His thoughts toward me outnumber the grains of sand. In 2015, I began to wonder: what breadth of colorful existence would I breathe if I allowed God’s thoughts to define me? What if I truly trusted in the God who loves me enough to die for me and relentlessly pursue me my whole life?

He tells me I’m worthy, I am righteous, I am blameless, I am holy. He calls me His own. What more does He have to say? And how will I hear Him?

While on earth, we will never fully perfect the art of listening to God. Hearing Him varies day by day. It requires a sensitivity to our surroundings, simple surrender, and a humility beyond human capability. But the primary practical place I hear God is in His living and active word.

Sometimes, we read something in the word, then God reveals the truth through real-life circumstances. Other times, we begin to sense that He’s telling us something through our own thoughts, and we receive confirmation through reading His word afterwards. Here is an example of the latter. Recently, obeying a gentle nudge to read 2 Samuel; I discovered the Old Testament story of Mephibosheth – the story to confirm everything.

Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son. Jonathan was King David’s best friend; one whom he loved deeply.

Mephibosheth lived a debilitating existence. Physically disabled from a young age by a cause outside of his control, he allowed his crippling circumstances to define him;  believing himself a “dead dog”.

But God’s gracious spirit prompted King David to bestow generosity upon his beloved Jonathan’s family in the years after his passing. Searching for any existing family members and finding Mephibosheth, the king declared Jonathan’s son worthy to dine at the royal table for the remainder of his life. David treated him as his own son, and Mephibosheth accepted the royal treatment.

I vow to make 2016 the year to accept God’s royal treatment. As a child of God, I have a Heavenly inheritance. And like Mephibosheth, I’m entitled to sit and dine at the table of the king – not because of anything I’ve done, but because of who my father is.