“I pray you can eat chocolate brownies with your husband someday.” My sister said this to me when I was 30, single, and on a strict diet in order to starve four different parasites in my intestines. Her words had power over me. Chocolate brownies and a husband felt so far from my current reality and also summarized my deeper desires so tangibly. My sister’s image became the catalyst to my prayers. When my husband made me chocolate brownies for my 35th birthday last week, I paused in amazement.
God’s vision of liberation for the Israelites was “a land flowing with milk and honey” (found in the Bible twenty times, starting in Exodus 3:8). God gave them a vision that made them salivate. And to an enslaved people, with stability and abundance so far from their line of sight, a stirring of all the senses was required for vision to survive. They needed a vision sticky enough to hold onto through an increase of oppression, forty years of waiting, and several wars with their neighbors.
When I first came on staff with InterVarsity, my leaders were asking God to give us a vision that would make us salivate. We wanted God to revive the lives of students and faculty and all of Los Angeles, but that was not a vision. There was no sign for us as to when revival would have occurred. So we waited on God for many years. And he gave us the vision of the 70: To see a witnessing community on all 70 college campuses in Greater Los Angeles. We will know it when it happens and we are committed to seeking God for it until it does, because the thought of it captivates all of our senses and imaginations.
As you think about the coming new year, what vision is God giving you and your community?
Maybe you want to become a better person. But don’t let your vision stop there. What will be the tangible sign that you’ve taken steps of growth? How will you know when that vision is realized?
Maybe you’re praying for systemic change. What versions of “milk and honey” have you already heard expressed from those who are suffering? What is it that you and your community are longing to see God do that would taste so so good?
Maybe you have a personal desire — for a relationship, a family, a job, or physical healing. What is the vision of hope that God wants to give you to fuel your prayers this year?
If you’re unsure of a vision, don’t be discouraged. Sometimes it takes a while for it to come. But start by asking the questions and don’t settle until you’re salivating.