2020 is done, finished, behind us forever! And I'm sure many of you were glad to bid your farewells to that rollercoaster of a year. But before we completely put those 12 months firmly in the past, I want to draw your attention to two lessons that 2020 personally taught me, that I think will help us make 2021 the best year yet.
Rewinding to January/early February of 2020, I remember being a broken record to anyone who would listen. In short, the burden I had was that a season was approaching and would be the start of a radical shift which would require us as Christians to step up in faith - then BOOM! COVID-19 happened. I write this not to declare myself as a prophet, but rather to illustrate my first lesson, which was walking in intimacy with God.
Having intimacy with God allows us to hear His voice, be in a position for Him to reveal His secrets to us and tell us what we need to do to be a part of whatever He is doing. Put into practice, I didn't know 2020 would be the year we face a global pandemic, a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and a highly controversial US election, but I had sensed the weight of what would pan out and that these factors were components in God's grand plan. Which, in turn, helped soften the blow mentally.
So, in 2021 allowing intimacy to be a priority will ensure we find ourselves in the best position to learn what to expect. After all, one of God's beautiful things is that He is all-knowing, so knows the beginning from the end. So, isn't it better to get insight from the One who knows everything that is to come? Besides learning what to expect, closeness to God allows us to receive direction on what things to pursue and envelopes us in His peace when we step out in purpose, trusting that everything else will fall into place.
'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
The second lesson discovered was perspective. Our perspective on situations can be the difference between frustration and serenity. When we spend quality time with God and have a clear vision of what He would have us do, obstacles begin to look like opportunities to stretch our faith. Take this example of lemons to lemonade. Someone who knows God's plan is for them to become a beverage business owner will not give up if their current financial situation doesn't match the vision. But instead, in faith, see it as an opening to be creative and resourceful, which brings an added benefit to their skill set which may have been missed had they had all the means from the beginning.
'I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.'
- Psalm 32:8
Understanding and sympathising with the difficulties and grief 2020 brought to many, I am reminded of Lamentations 3, where Jeremiah was mourning over Jerusalem. Yet, amid his pain, remembered that it didn't change who God was. Because God is a good Father regardless of the storms of life, and affirming ourselves in this truth can bring us peace and joy.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
- Lamentations 3:21-24
So, In conclusion to 2020 being a tumultuous year that blind-sided many, through intimacy and a perspective of opportunity over obstacles and resting in His truths that His plans are good and not of evil towards us, 2021 can be our best year yet.
For further encouragement, if feeling overwhelmed, a song I have had on repeat by Harvest titled 'Palm of Your Hand' that says "So I will stop and breathe; rest here in Your goodness; I know You won't leave it's my confidence."
Here's to the best year ahead!
Words by Yemi Adekoya