There are many who are anxiously awaiting the end of this year. As if 2020 has been the worst of the worst for everyone in the world.
It has been a challenge for all of us globally. The pandemic has colored our experience and given us new norms and words to describe our experience: masks, social distancing, zoom meetings, flatten the curve, isolation, quarantine.
When we think of last February, when all this was just beginning to percolate, nobody anticipated it would last this long or be this widespread. Or that the repercussions would be so world-embracing.
The losses have been real.
When tragedy hits, we don’t have the privilege to just moan and groan. Complaining comes naturally to us all, but it doesn’t help anyone. With new challenges come new ways of thinking and new attitudes to address the current reality.
Many difficult things have happened–loss of family and friends, loss of jobs, loss of security, loss of hope. Depression has become a national epidemic, and it needs to be addressed in a way that is sustainable for the entire population.
But there have been bright spots in this crazy-maker of a pandemic. Families have spent more time together. People are recognizing they don’t need to be entertained as much as they need to be with others and enjoy those they love and care for.
We’ve learned to pivot. To not become so stuck to one way of doing things that we can’t figure out a new way to adjust. To adapt instead of demand.
COVID has made us aware that we can change.
People have stepped up to help others they may never have helped before. People who, in the past, have been the givers, have learned to receive kindly and graciously. Those who have a little more have generously shared.
Challenge has brought out a better part of us.
We’ve seen the harsh and heavy. Not everyone is experiencing the help of their community.
But we can learn. It’s never too late to change how we do things or our attitudes.
When Jesus came into the world to bring hope to the lost and grace to all who would receive it, He did things differently. He didn’t follow the religious rules of the day. He didn’t disregard government, but He did differentiate between commitment to obey rulers and commitment to obeying God.
Jesus refused to be put in a box that the authorities wanted to keep Him in. He preached a gospel of love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy that dealt with the heart of a person. He understood true hope wasn’t about solving our current problems. It’s all about giving us a future, which we can be assured of in His truth.
We need to remember that we have survived difficult crises before. God has sustained us in ways we can’t even imagine. Loss will always be part of life this side of heaven.
Hope can be part of it as well if we choose to trust the Author of Hope.
2021 will not cure all our ills. Pain and loss will continue.
His presence in our world is real. If we choose Him, we can experience His hope.
What will it take to choose hope?