Only a few hours left of 2020. Before we all start cheering, I think it’s important to reflect on what was so we can properly hope for what is to come.
So what did 2020 bring into our lives?
COVID-19 pandemic, quarantines and lockdowns, unemployment, murder hornets, Kobe Bryant’s death, impeachment hearings, stock market crash, Beirut explosion, Chadwick Boseman’s death, BLM, antifa, protests, riots, toilet paper shortage, masks, Zoom meetings, homeschooling, 6 feet rule, massive wildfires, Israeli peace agreement, RBG’s death, murder rates rise, church closings, no sport spectators, travel bans, Tennessee tornado, hurricanes, brexit, locust swarms, Olympics canceled, Haiti fire, earthquakes, national emergency, shootings, presidential election, national chaos, Trump tests positive for Covid, Alex Trebek’s death, UFO sightings, small businesses closing, reduced capacity, home shopping, no family gatherings, Covid vaccine, Nashville bombing.
Yes, this all happened in 2020 … and we survived! It can seem like there is nothing good to reflect upon but, with God, there is always good!
Each of us have to decide for ourselves what the good is. For me, it was a deeper relationship with my husband, a renewed appreciation for friends, a surrender of things I can’t control, and a full-time counseling job. All of these moments of “good” are the direct result of seeking God in all of the moments of each day.
God is always there with us, guiding us and loving us. But when we seek Him in the tough moments, we can see a side of the challenge that brings hope.
Over this year, I have wondered often about where the good is. Watching the news or reading the social media feeds, I have been left with a sense of doom. And I’m not alone. The clients I have met with this past year have brought profoundly deep pain. More than once, as I left my office at the end of the day I wondered, “God, am I doing any good at all?”
A couple of weeks ago, after a particularly challenging day at work, I made my way home thinking and praying about the souls I interacted with that day. Crisis after crisis and there seemed no end it sight. And then, I get a text message from a client I had seen the day before. This client is an artist and had given me a bowl they had made from wood. In the wood, there was a faint line where the wood had cracked in the creation process. This is what my client said: “I gave you that particular bowl because it was broken and I was able to put it back together and unless you look carefully you can’t tell it was broken. You do that for broken people, you counsel them and put them back together.”
That is hope. That is resilience. That is grace. That is God. And God never leaves us broken. We may be living in a broken world but, if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are no longer broken! You have been made whole … even in a crazy year like 2020.
”The world seems to be in trouble, whether it’s the storms or the political problems we have in this country. The only hope for this world is God,” Rev. Franklin Graham said during an appearance on Newsmax TV’s ”Spicer & Co.”
Rev. Graham was right. Our only hope is God! I have no idea why 2020 has been so difficult. But I know God has not grown silent. He has not forgotten us. Instead, His hope abounds! But make no mistake, the only way to grasp this hope and experience its fullness is to be fully immersed in the word of God.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus” (Matt. 14:29).
With each new headline this year, we watched a storm brewing. And, if you were like me, there were times when you were genuinely frightened at the sheer size of the waves heading your way.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:30)
When Peter stepped out of the boat before the storm was still, he walked on the words Jesus said to him. But the moment he decided to focus on storm… the junk in our lives… he began to sink. We must choose to walk on Jesus’ words during life’s storms, even if they don’t make sense. And let’s be honest, what about 2020 has made sense? Well, God has! God not only speaks to us through the storms of life, but he also meets with us and speaks to us in the heart of the storm, when we’re at the end of ourselves and all hope is gone. Friends, it’s in those dark nights of the soul that God is found. It’s also in the bright sunny days that God is found.
As you wipe the dust of 2020 off your feet, give God thanks for what was because, friends, hope still exists. Miracles still happen. And Jesus Christ still reigns!
Happy New Year!