It’s the last day of the year 2020. A lot of people are so excited to be moving on into the new year with hopes that things will be better. I’m also very excited!
Many tables have shaken as 2020 cried for justice and change. A lot of challenges both great and small called for strength and if you’re reading this you made it through.
Through it all there are undoubtedly grateful moments so let’s also hold on to those moments.
In this post, I’m hoping to share some lessons from 2020. I’m definitely not the only one on the “let me tell you what I learned in 2020” boat, but I believe sharing is a way to make an impact. I hope you’ll be encouraged.
Of recent, I’ve been hearing a lot about seasons from sermons and talking to people, and even reading in books that:
“Seasons come and go.”
“Make the most of the season you’re in.”
“There are some things we would never understand.”
“The secret things belong to God.”
Reflecting on the time that has passed this year, it is true that we should look forward and leave the puzzling unresolved queries to God. Trying to figure everything out can only lead to frustration. The fact is seasons change and they always will so let us prepare, be ready, and KEEP ON.
Keep on praying. Keep on believing. Keep on making an effort even though it looks like you’re in a dry season now, because the season will change.
In one of my puzzling moments, I was thinking about deserts. How is it that the same God that created the deserts made the rain forests? 2 very different ‘situations.’ What’s the need?
I read something on the National Geographic website about deserts. It reads:
“Deserts are areas that receive very little precipitation. People often use the adjectives “hot,” “dry,” and “empty” to describe deserts, but these words do not tell the whole story. Although some deserts are very hot, with daytime temperatures as high as 54°C (130°F), other deserts have cold winters or are cold year-round. And most deserts, far from being empty and lifeless, are home to a variety of plants, animals, and other organisms. People have adapted to life in the desert for thousands of years.”
The truth I got from this is that it is possible to flourish in the desert. Things should not ‘end’ because you’re in a rough season.
As the year unfolded I had a lot of questions. Some still unresolved but the lesson has always been to KEEP ON.
Can we foresee the challenges of 2021? No. But we should still KEEP ON.
Gift And Purpose
At the beginning of the year, I was reading from Genesis 1 – the creation story- taking each month as a day God created. I learned that God designed the moon, sun, and stars to signify season change.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years…”Genesis 1:14
God made these ‘heavenly bodies’ for a unique purpose and hence they are designed uniquely to fit their purpose. It’s the same with us. We are all different and alive to fulfill a unique purpose.
There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.1 Corinthians 15:40-41
One day in the year I was reading the account of Elijah and how frustrated he was with life that he wanted to die. He felt he was the only one God was using. There might have been that pressure to always ‘show up’.
However, God made something clear to him that he was, in fact, not the only one he could use. That can be a daunting realization. Personally, I’ve put pressure on myself sometimes to view life’s assignments as if God can use anybody. With this idea, I start trying to do things by my strength – things I should be relying on God for. I am trying to prove that I am up to the task so that I will not be replaced. On the other hand, I give up trying entirely because I tell myself someone is doing it better. The result however is I still find myself in Elijah’s position – frustrated and fearful. That is not God’s intent.
Someone once said that there are 7.2 billion people on this earth which means 7.2 billion ways in which God can choose to do something. You are one of those 7.2 billion people so don’t limit God’s ability to use you differently. There are 200 moons in our solar system serving different planets.
So what do we do in our season?
We Keep On. We do the work we need to do. In Brian Tracy’s book, ‘No excuses‘, he explains that we are responsible for our choices and we should not excuse our faults or failures. Instead, we should constantly evaluate and improve ourselves.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.Ecclesiastes 11:4-5
In one of the many fellowships I belong to, someone gave a different perspective to the popular scripture “the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord…” – Psalm 37:23.
She explained that sometimes God only lights the next step we need to take and for some reason hides what’s ahead or around. Perhaps if we did see what was lurking in the dark we will refuse to move forward. This takes a lot of courage and trust. Other times God lights our entire path (Psalm 119:105). But whichever he chooses to do, whether our step or path or all around, we have to take the next step and trust that God is guiding us to where he needs us to be.
There have been many suicides this year because of deep depression and frustration. However, it is important to know that whatever difficulty you’re going through is just for a season. During wintertime, we usually have shorter days than nights and it’s often gloomy but after a while, this season will pass. The only constant is God. When situations don’t look like they are going to change I ask God for a fresh perspective- one that will give me hope despite the difficulty.
I was strolling to the shop one day and was thinking the obvious – a child is a gift from God. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way if it’s not what you have been expecting. I’m sure someone reading this probably got a gift for Christmas that they’re thinking “What am I going to do with this?”
There is a tremendous responsibility that comes with conceiving and having a child. It’s not a gift we can simply be rid of just because we do not want it. It takes 9 months for a child to fully develop and be born. God set that time. We can’t pray for it to happen sooner or take longer.
However, we are responsible for what we eat and drink and how we take care of ourselves. God is responsible for his protection and provision for both mother and child. We have to plan and make preparation for when the baby comes but God is responsible for opening the doors and allocating the right people to assist us.
We should ensure we nurture our gifts. We should also ensure we nurture ourselves because we are the carriers of that gift. God is able to ensure that we have adequate provision to fulfill our purpose.
I believe we are looking forward to an amazing new year. I know I am!!
Remember, 2021 will have it’s season so make the best of each one.
Happy New Year!
Share in my 2020 achievements (click on the links):