2020 is now in the rear-view mirror.
Did everything that people hoped would happen at midnight on December 31 indeed take place? Did changing the final number at the end of four digits really make that much of a difference?
Has the pain, the turmoil, the struggles, the illness, and the accusations of the past year been wiped away just because the minute hand ticked from midnight to 12:01 a.m.?”
Social media posts had encouraged followers to “take a shot and forget this year ever happened.” Others declared, “This has been the worst year of my life!” or “I can’t wait until it’s over.”
Each time I heard a dirge to 2020, though, my heart ached.
Yes, 2020 was harder than anything most of us had ever experienced… some of my dear friends lost loved ones, a number of my own friends became extremely ill, while others moved into eternity. For some, the ache was – and still is – worse than I can imagine. Yes, the isolation and separation were painful and detrimental beyond the breaking point for others. Yes, many of our kids missed the comradery of classmates and bonding with teachers, and the memories of formal graduations and the associated celebrations. I’m sure most suffered scholastically. Yes, we were inconvenienced and frustrated and tired of masks and of social distancing and sheltering in place…
But. God. Was. So. Very. Very. Good.
Our society started to address the centuries-old sin of bigotry.
Parents spent quality time with their children.
Teens sought hope online – and found Jesus.
Small churches discovered the value of online worship.
Family members shared “I love you’s” for the first time in years.
Friendships deepened and appreciation for relationship grew.
Gratitude for the simple things blossomed.
Yearnings for hugs amplified.
A contaminated political system faced reform.
Or, perhaps, it’s just that my experience has taught me that The Good Shepherd is, in fact, faithful.
Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God.
He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations.
and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.
His character is proven. No matter the circumstances. Moses knew it. Paul knew it. Their confidence – and mine – rests in the nature of God, who can indeed be relied upon to complete what He begins.
No matter the time.
No matter the year.