I’m updating my thinking today. I’m declaring 2020 is making you and me–all of us–stronger, better, and more resilient people.
Because I’m tired of wishing 2020 was over. I’m tired of being on edge, wondering what other pandemic or disaster or terrible experience will happen next. And, I’m tired of walking on eggshells, questioning every move and decision I make on a daily basis. The pandemic, the murder hornets, racial issues, violence, hatred, and political division across our land, last week’s heartland derecho, and a whole bunch of other calamities–all in 2020. It’s been unbelievable and unfathomable and incomprehensible.
People are pleading, “Can 2020 just be over already?” I have agreed.
But, you know? If I’m choosing to live in the moment and embrace every day I’m given, then why would I slip into the thinking of wishing 2020 was over? Even with all the terrible stuff we’ve experienced. Goodness, we have four and a half months of this year left. I’m not going to live one minute longer wishing this year was over. No. I’ve decided today’s the day my thinking changes. I have too much living to do!
I’m believing 2020 is making us stronger and better and more resilient people.
I also believe God is using all these calamities and hardships and unholy messes for good. Because He is good and because He is still in control.
I firmly believe nothing happens in our lives that isn’t sifted through God’s hands first. If He has allowed all of these things to happen, it must be for a reason. Reasons beyond what we understand. God doesn’t just allow events to happen for nothing. No. That’s not His character. That’s not what He does.
Could God be trying to get our attention? Maybe.
Is He preparing us for what’s to come? Possibly.
Is He using all of this for good? Definitely.
The story of Job in the Bible encourages me.
Many of us might feel a little like Job today. Loss and devastation and destruction surround us, especially here in the Midwest. Job’s financial security, his family, and every thing he owned was destroyed. He grieved heavily as any normal person would. But then, he did the unthinkable. He worshiped God.
When Job heard this, he tore his clothes and shaved his head because of his great sorrow. He knelt on the ground, then worshiped God and said: “We bring nothing at birth; we take nothing with us at death. The Lord alone gives and takes.Job 1:20-21 CEV
Praise the name of the Lord!”
Wow. Job knew God didn’t promise him an easy life, yet he remembered God was still with him. He still had much for which to praise God. You and I have much for which to praise God, too.
Just as God strengthened Job’s faith and trust, I believe He’s strengthening ours, too. Just as God used hardship to grow Job in unexpected ways, I believe He’s growing us, too. Job’s attention was turned towards God, and hopefully ours is, too. You and I still have much for which to be thankful.
2020 may be the year God grows you and me the most.
Without making light of the difficulties we’ve experienced thus far, it’s interesting how our circumstances can change us. God uses them to shape our character. To mold us into the people He desires for us to be… to be more like His Son. Even while some of our circumstances are extremely difficult, will we allow Him to use them to grow our faith, our trust, our hope? Will we allow God to strengthen us, to better us, to make us even more resilient? Job allowed God to work through him. I want to be more like Job.
Friend, take a look in the mirror. You are a different person than you were a year ago. So am I. No joke, 2020 is filled with serious stuff. But look again. You and I are stronger than we were a year ago. We are better than we were a year ago. We are certainly more resilient than we were a year ago. God is growing us, friend. Let us rejoice in this reality!
How have you seen God at work in your life? In your character? How are you stronger, better, more resilient?
There is much good happening amid the calamity. There is still much good happening in 2020. Let’s not wish it away too soon, but let’s, instead, look for God at work. Doing what He does… for our growth, for the good of others, and for His glory. Hang in there, friend. God is with you.
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