by Dr. Laura Savage-Rains
Welcome to 2017! I love a clean calendar—so much room for hopes and dreams and where each morning represented holds God’s promise of new mercies. Hear God say to you, “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you” (Isaiah 42:9). I sense God doing new, exciting things among women. Then, I study the lives of women in scripture and I realize that the ways God is working and speaking through women today were indeed announced to us long ago—but were we listening?
I encourage you to see with your mind and listen with your heart in this new year. See afresh God’s work through women—in the Bible and all around you.
Look back at the first prophet in the line of Israel’s judges and see a courageous Deborah lead her nation into 40 years of peace (Judges 4-5). Hear her victory song praise God and thank another woman for their roles in the battle. Then look around for a woman who leads with gratitude and find ways to acknowledge the grace she is giving others.
Look back at the first time a written document was verified as God’s word and hear the prophet Huldah declare it as God’s truth, causing a king to lead his nation back to God (2 Kings 22-23). Then look around you for the women God is using to change lives by teaching the truths of scripture.
Look back at the miraculous conception of our Savior and see a young Mary find refuge with her older relative Elizabeth. Feel Mary’s joyful relief when she hears the first verbal confirmation of her sacred pregnancy from a humble, admiring, and empathetic Elizabeth (Luke 1). Then look around you for the women who are making an impact by gently mentoring the next generation.
Look back at the first time the foundational truth of our faith, “Christ is Risen!” was spoken and see Mary Magdalene being sent to the disciples with the news (John 20). Hear Jesus chastise the two he met on the road to Emmaus for not believing her testimony (Luke 24). Then look around the globe for the women who are often the first to proclaim Christ in places where they may face rejection, punishment, or even death.
If God chose women’s voices to proclaim such important truths the first time, then surely God is continuing to use women’s voices today. Now, look in the mirror and commit yourself to the “new thing” God and you could be celebrating at the end of 2017!
Dr. Laura Savage-Rains, founder and author of WomensMinistryCoach.com, passionately teaches women how to lead with confidence. She is a speaker and writer currently developing resources for women in ministry drawing from more than 30 years of ministry experience in churches, denominational work, teaching, and overseas missions. Laura lives in Lakeway, Texas, with her husband Mark. Watch for her new book in Spring 2017 entitled When God Chooses a Woman First.