As we turn the page to a new year I am consistently hearing and seeing written a desire to throw 2020 on the trash heap and forget the year ever happened. This attitude is understandable. 2020 was indeed a tough year. We all endured a shared struggle. An interruption to our lives we had never experienced. Only those who had lived though World War II could have some comparison. The specter of sickness and danger has hung in the air. Exacerbated by a twenty four hour reporting of all that is related to the pandemic.
On top of this many endured additional struggles at home. Lost jobs, school closures and health issues. In my own home, most of the year has been spent contending with significant health issues for my wife as she has navigated a cancer diagnosis. All of these home front issues were exacerbated as our boundaries closed in with mandates to stay at home and limit the contact with our communities.
Hope appeared to be waning. But this was the lie the enemy was selling.
Even in this unprecedented time in our lives, God was and still is moving.
For many, that may be hard to see on the surface. That is why as we turn to a new year, I pray we all take time for reflection. When we stop and reflect on the past year, on global events, on our families and our own individual paths, we will see areas of grace. When we look back at 2020 through the lens of God’s Word and with a focus on where He might have impacted our lives, you’ll likely see silver linings in the midst of the challenges. For the sun still shines in the valley.
As He is so often prone to doing, God took the intent of the enemy and turned it on its ear in so many ways. One of the silver linings I hear about from many people is the balance they have found that they had chased after for years. Areas of lives put into their proper alignment. Great time with family, working more efficiently, less stress due to a forced slow down.
I have experienced this new balance myself. I was a road warrior consultant, racking up 45-60 thousand miles a year in my car. Spending countless hours on the road and in traffic. That all came to a screeching halt as it was replaced with a new virtual workspace. This has caused me to reflect on my own life’s alignment. I now realize going forward it cannot look like what it did before last March.
Others this year have renewed relationships, found time for hobbies and completed projects they put off for years. Some have found time to learn. Acquiring new skills for work and for parenting. Many have renewed their relationship with God as they realized that God’s grace was sustaining them. So many found unique ways to serve and shine the love of Jesus into lives. All of us have learned not to take time with each other for granted.
2020 was a challenging year. However, God’s grace was never challenged. It was the sun shining in the valley of these past days.
Where was that sun shining in your lives?
May His light shine in new ways in all your lives in 2021.
“I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.”
Your Brothers in Christ,
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