Did you forget?
In just a couple of days, we’ll be making our way out of the year called 2020. Decades hence, citing this year’s title – 2020 – may invoke a variety of emotions. What has it been for you?
Be careful: the most immediate answer may be the most dangerous. Highly-repetitive headlines may have become stuck in our intellectual gullet. Wujan. Lockdown. Election. Pandemic. Quarantine. Unemployment. Riots. Contested. Canceled. Facemask. Left to the echoes of all-things-media, the insistent voices of contemporary culture turn our hearts to panic and our outlook to fear; stress is the biological indicator that all-systems are in defense modes, with no relief in sight.
Here’s some wise counsel, from history’s greatest human source. What should we do, as we near the end of an unprecedented year like 2020? “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future” (Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 7:13-14).
Wisdom makes sense, with few words needed. The summation of Solomon’s savvy: 1) This year happened under God’s sovereign hand and plan; 2) No one could take control away from Him; 3) when things are good, embrace shalom; 4) when times are bad, give up trying to predict the future; and, 5) our best posture – good times or bad – is to focus on God and what He’s doing, and lean into Him.
How is this year ending, for you? Not your state; not your industry; not your company; not your political party; not your friends: how is it ending, for you?
Some of my Point of Viewers have had challenges this year, and these blind-side disruptions weren’t circumstances flowing from bad decisions. Health issues, family issues, financial issues, career issues; some or all may have created havoc for them; maybe, for you. My encouragement: whatever else you’ve lost… you haven’t lost Him. You’re starting 2021 with the promise of His presence.
Many of our PoV constituency are feeling paradoxical. In the most disruptive year in our remembrance, your health has been protected. Your family has remained connected. Your career has continued – interrupted, but not interred – and your income has been stable. Your home has become more valuable; your retirement plans have grown with the recovered market; your investments have done well, and your net worth has gone up, inexplicably. That’s a story that’s tough to share right now.
As you consider your position as 2020 transitions to 2021, be careful: “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant” (Moses, in Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
You’ve got a little time today; no one is expecting rapid responses during New Year’s week. This is a five-minute soul-spa treatment; here’s my friend Tommy Walker with a great suggestion. With headphones or built-in speakers, click here for some high-value therapy.
Remember. You don’t need much urging to recount the dark moments of 2020, and there were many. What may not come to mind as quickly are the unrelenting evidences of His protection and provision. “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2). Is 2020 the year that His promise in Psalm 91 was made real, for you? (Click here to see all of Psalm 91.)
May your New Year be filled with Shalom: the Hebrew promise of wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity,