2020: It almost seems like a bad word at this point. It is the most challenging season of many of our lives emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.
This year has been rife with attack after attack on everything we knew as normal, status quo, and predictable.
We are told that we need to research and stay informed. But the more we learn the less our world makes sense. Or worse, it makes perfect sense. Or worser, the data or science or rules change overnight and we’re left starting at square one….again.
This is not a post to debate the necessity or efficacy of masks, the necessity of shutting down or not shutting down small businesses, or virtual schools. You’re a free American who can make those own decisions on your own, because freedom.
This post is to encourage you to press into Jesus.
I don’t get real political or spiritual in this blog because the content is pretty specific. This year has changed this though. This year I have sat down to write this post no less than half a dozen times. I sit here, at my desk, and stop and wonder if we will ever go back to normal (meaning live before covid).
I sit here mourning the loss of Thanksgiving and Christmas plans that we’d made. I sit here mourning the tradition of traveling every January with our kids to spend some unplugged time with them. I mourn for my Country. My country has lost its way. I feel we are in a dangerous place with our freedoms.
This year has, by far, hit many of us mentally and spiritually. After all, why would God do this?! Why would God let people die of a crazy virus? Why would God let small businesses literally disintegrate? Why would God shut churches down? Why can’t I go anywhere without feeling like I’m in a bread line?
The world is weird. The world is different. The world still needs Jesus.
The questions that I’m asking and pondering aren’t new. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “that there is nothing new under the sun.”
Nothing is new and nothing surprised God this year. What has happened is a consequence of sin. The evil, the awful, the plague, the hateful attitudes, the lies, the treason; It is all a consequence of sin.
My prayer over the last few months has been for the truth to be revealed and for justice to prevail. We could go down a long, deep, dark rabbit hole about how America might be on the cusp of World War 3. But chances are you feel it too.
So how do we manage this? How do we fix our minds and take all our positive and negative thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)? How do we keep our minds focused on the Lord and not get so bogged down with the news, social media, our unrecognizable community?
- Press into Jesus. Fill your heart and mind with His word. This could be reading the Bible, listening to podcasts/sermons, reading books on Biblical principles, listening to hymns, or worship music. If your mind and heart are filled with the Lord, there won’t be room for anything else. This year should be a spiritual awakening in Christians. Not just the lukewarm ones, but all Christians to be bolder for Christ.
- Turn it off. The TV, your phone, social media. It is all lies, and you know it. Turn it off and tune it out. While staying informed is important, there must be a limit to the kind of propaganda that you are ingesting on the regular. Let a time limit daily for social media and news intake usage. Start with 60 minutes over the course of a day and go down as needed. Most phones have app timers that can help you regulate.
- Use this year to reset and restart. This one is tough; it seems like anxiety is a new side dish that every American has too large a helping of. But we must remember that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy. We can use this season to weed out people, jobs, events, obligations, and other things in our life that take our eyes off the cross. We can hit the reset putting for our family also. We can start doing nightly devotions with our kids, playing games with them, teaching them how to change tires, make a budget, bake, cook, and the list goes on. This could be the year that your family home life is what you’ve always wanted it to be. This could be the year that the distractions and busy schedules quit being glorified and you’re simply able to spend time together and grow together as believers and humans.
This year has been a cluster for most of us. Whether you’ve lost your job, lost a loved one, gotten Covid, or haven’t, the Lord is with you. He wants a relationship with you. Covid didn’t take the Lord by surprise. It blindsided us, but it didn’t take the Lord by surprise.
We can also pray. We can pray for our church leaders, community leaders, state leaders, and the president (current and future with all that entails). We can pray for the truth to be revealed. We can pray for Justice to prevail. We can pray for wisdom and common sense to be present in all situations.
We have 2 weeks left of this year. Let’s solidify our relationship with Jesus, our kids’ relationship with the Lord, and start being BOLD. For Christ, for our freedom, for our country, and our family.
P.S. I wrote this before the end of December, obviously. It didn’t feel right to post, but as we are heading into 2021 and we’ve seen the first 7 days of this year, change isn’t as immediate as we had all hoped. But now, more than ever, we need Jesus, and we need to show His love, His light, and be the example of a solid relationship with Him to our children. There are many, many things that we cannot control happening right now. This is one area that we have total control over. PRESS INTO JESUS.
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed man.