We Made It
Here we are, the end of 2020. We "made" it. Some may be limping in to 2021, and others are running. Some welcome 2021 with great expectation and full of hope, and others step into 2021 carrying the same heaviness and heartache from 2020. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, we're still here, and I think that in and of itself is cause for a celebration - even if it's faint and small. We don't celebrate the hardships and tragedy. We don't applaud the lives lost and the suffering. But we can outwardly express gratitude for the life we still have today. We can lament, mourn, and grieve and simultaneously pause, look up, and consider the good things we have experienced. It's possible to hold both tensions authentically. They are not mutually exclusive. It's not one or the other. We can suffer well. We can live a better broken.
While we cannot change our circumstances or the landscape, we are not left powerless. We did not choose the events of 2020. No one welcomed or rejoiced in the uncertainty, tragedy, destruction, unrest, and injustice vividly played out and on full display. No life was untouched by 2020. It has been quite the year for us all. And we're forever changed - for the better or the worst. It's our choice. We can choose to show up to the life we have and make it count. We decide to look for the good, beauty, and evidence of God all over our lives. Where do we put our confidence? On what do we fix our eyes? How will we take ownership of our own lives? To where will we lead our hearts and mind, and how will we tend to our souls? We are not without help or void of hope. There is a God who walks with us. He empowers and equips us to do things we can not do on our own. Grace awaits us.
It's true; many people prayed, and the outcome was not as hoped or prayed. So we continue to trust God and release what we cannot understand - the mystery to our loving Father. We do not have to carry that burden. It does not have to color the rest of our world and existence. If 2020 was disappointing, and you feel abandoned, forgotten by God, worn and tired, unable to take another step, it's okay. It's okay not to be okay. Rest, recharge, renew, but try again. Dare to go around that "mountain" one more time. Take that courageous lap around, once more. I cannot guarantee the outcome will be painless and work out exactly as you desire or pray, but I can ensure that you will walk away better - having met and experienced the Living God who is good and faithful.
2020 may not have been a good year, and we will likely experience the impact of 2020 for years to come. But if we remain steadfast in the faith, God's word, and keep our eyes on Jesus, He'll lead our hearts to victory every time, no matter the circumstance.
"Let me experience your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in you. Reveal to me the way I should go because I appeal to you." Psalms 143:8 (CSB)