I am typing this on December 31, 2020 shortly before midnight. I just turned off the TV showing an empty Times Square that is normally filled with a million partiers. It is a strange ending to a strange year.
I wish I were one of those people who meticulously journaled their year, and always had a profound reflection on December 31…I’m not. I occasionally journal, try to have reflective moments, but sometimes life leaves me wondering and waiting for an “aha” moment that helps it all make sense.
Looking back over more New Year’s Eves than I would like to admit, there are many question marks in life that still don’t make sense to this day. A quick review of 2020 has loads of questions that may never be answered. “Will we see the last of covid and quarantines? Will political turmoil work out for everyone’s good? Will we see more civil unrest in 2021? What will the financial markets do? What will the rest of the world look like a year from now?”
Funny, I found myself getting anxious just typing those questions. Many more began filling my mind but I made myself stop. The point is, 2020 was a rougher year than normal for most of us. Unfortunately, on this New Year’s Eve there is no indication that the stress and strain of 2020 will soon subside.
The one positive takeaway from 2020 is this, we live in an uncertain world where health, wealth, peace and our way of life are all more fragile than we anticipated. Skeptics among us may ask “And how is THAT a positive?”
The good thing to come from the uncertainty of horrible 2020 is that it reminds us of the timeless truth shared as words of advice from ancient King Solomon; he was revered as the wisest man of his day:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge HIm, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away form evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3: 5-8
When life is filled with uncertainty we are forced to either panic on our own, or trust; and 2020 has shown us the futility in trusting anything or anyone but God. Hopefully 2021 will be a huge improvement over its predecessor; on the other hand, it could even get worse! Regardless, choose to trust God. He promises peace in our pandemics, hope instead of hatred, and joy beyond our circumstances.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and the antidote for anxiety. Through the centuries, God has proven Himself trustworthy, He’s not about to fail us now.
Happy New Year!
3 thoughts on “At least one positive “takeaway” from 2020”
Yup, 2020 wasn’t great: I agree wholeheartedly. however, I need to remind myself over and over to use some perspective. This planet has arguably had lower points; what quickly comes to mind is that we are not in a World War; spanning nearly 10 years combined to start the list. 1933-1935.
So, I argue this point of view. The severity of the time is influenced by the individual circumstances. Your 2020 was TRULY much more terrible than mine when circumstances are factored.
Having endured our deep “Soul Fast” in 1995-1996, I speak to this single point from your last several books. That time was enormously enlightening and instructive for my faith, AND extremely painful too.
Thank you for broadcasting questions and ideas, regardless if they might be rhetorical, you help us reflect, challenge and grow as God’s people. That makes ANY year better!
Thank you Pastor Stan, that was so encouraging. I trust in the Lord!
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