As we all rush to slam the door shut forever on the dumpster fire year known as 2020, it can be far too easy to lose sight of the good things in our lives and thus overlook the blessings the Lord has provided us.
Yes, 2020 was hard—perhaps the hardest year on record for many folks. But, by now, I’ve experienced challenging years before 2020 ever thought of unleashing itself on the worldstage. And you probably have too. Sure, 2020 seemed like something straight out of a bad Jumanji sequel, but throughout 2020, God continued to be gracious and shepherd me through it as He has done in the years preceding this crazy one; just as He has also done for you.
Yes, we stand at the precipice of a new year. WOOHOO!
Goodbye and so long 2020!
As we leave 2020 behind us, only time will tell how much of our consternation about this year is hyperbole versus harsh reality. The Great Dumpster Fire—aka the year of our Lord 2020— certainly was rife with stark reminders of our fraigle humanity.
We survived a pandemic likened to biblical plagues. We witnessed unrest, riots, and senseless atroticites. In America, we saw an election year like no other before it—at least none that I can remember. Lost in the midst of it all, there were historic hurricanes and crazy brushfires which would have dominated the headlines any other year.
But, we also saw heroes suit up and help those who needed to be cared for the most. We witnessed people come together, across industry, government, and scientific boundaries, to develop numerous vaccines with a speed and sense of urgency never before achieved.
No doubt, 2020 is a year that turned our known world upside down. The turmoil may have left you feeling disoriented and filled with uncertainty.
But do not be afraid or dismayed. Through it all, God has remained steadfast and you can be confident that He is with us just as He was present with the Israelites exiled in Babylon.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Personally, I experienced the blessing of seeing my Mom go through hip surgery and heal from it. She continues to make steady forward progress in her recovery. God provided ample opportunties to be the salt and the light and to share the Gospel with others. I celebrated 25 years of recovery in the craziest year yet. Sweet T and I got to participate in Operation Christmas Child one more time. We saw God do amazing things, in spite of the challenges 2020 presented. T and I both were blessed by the love of friends and family. Best of all, I got to spend another year on Planet Earth with my soul mate.
As we look forward to 2021, can we do better? Yes, we can.
2021 promises to be a year of new opportunties, fresh starts, and hopeful beginnings. I’m not much for making New Year’s resolutions, but I do have a list of goals that I hope to accomplish in the coming trip around the Sun. And there are plenty of tasks to complete on my never-ending To-Do list.
Earlier this year, in repsonse to my blogging sister Lily Pierce’s post What Is God Preparing ME For? – Retrospective Lily, I shared my sense that 2021 will be a year of transition for the Bantaus.
So my word for 2021 will be transition. The dictionary defines transition as the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
By the way, my word for 2020 was routine. Well, turned out nothing about 2020 was routine.
Perhaps, 2021 will be one of transition for you as well. Let’s face it. COVID-19 isn’t simply going to vanish into thin air once the calendar turns from December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021. It will still take time for us to move out from under the duress of the pandemic to life post-COVID.
How about you?
Maybe, you are starting a new job or getting ready to earn that long-awaited degree. Or, you’re biting the bullet and pursuing your passion or your calling. This may be a year of change, growth, and transition for you. Whatever it is, I pray God’s favor and blessings for you. Allow me to encourage you to go for it and get it done. You can do it.
- Are you glad 2020 is behind you?
- What are you looking forward to in 2021?
- What challenges are you taking on in the New Year?
- How many books do you think you’ll read?
- Are you going to be intentional about spending time in God’s Word?
- Is there something new you are planning to learn–like a language or instrument?
- How will you ring in the New Year?
Father God, thank You for another trip around the Sun. I am grateful for the blessings You provided, including the healing for my Mom. In many ways, 2020 was difficult and challenging, but You were faithful to guide me through it along with the love of my life that You provided. As I look forward to 2021, let me continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on Planet Earth. May I encourage those whom You put in my path and give me the wherewithal to point people to the Cross and direct them to Christ. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. In Jesus’ holy name, by the power of Your Spirit, Amen.
God bless you and those you love. Sweet T and I wish you all a very Happy New Year! May 2021 be your greatest year yet. Amen.
The Devotional Guy™