What was to be a year of vision became a year of getting blind-sided.
We’ve all experienced some form of struggle and loss this year, some more than others.
My family has experienced health crises after health crises this year (all non-covid related). Our little one, Jubilee, contracted a catastrophic encephalitis and remains in a therapeutic hospital. At one point this year, three of our four kids were in the hospital. Christie’s dad, also.
Outside my family, pastoring my church through 2020’s social unrest, the election season, and Covid has proved especially excruciating and exhausting. When people in your church hurt, you hurt. When people leave the church, it’s painful.
RIGHT ON TIME
I was in the Psalms a couple of weeks ago and came across a passage that was right on time. Maybe for you too.
“We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance” (Psalm 66:12 NLT).
Fire and flood.
When you go through the fire, you feel trapped. Cornered. Disoriented. Pained. You want deliverance, but you’ll take relief. Just a moment of relief. Yet the fire rages on.
When you go through the flood, you feel like you’re drowning underneath it all. You feel overwhelmed. Exhausted. No matter where you turn, you see only deluge, not deliverance. And the flood roars on.
Then the Psalmist pivots… “But You…”
The fire and the flood will come, but God ! My favorite two words in Scripture.
God will bring you out of the fire and flood because He’s been with you in the fire and flood (Isaiah 41:10).
But God. But God, what? God personally brings you, brings us, to a place of great abundance.
Honestly, I’d just take plain abundance. But God brings us into a place of GREAT abundance.
Does that mean circumstances with a great abundance of provision, ease, health, and happiness? Let’s pray for it! Why not?
But it’s deeper than that. It’s a place of great abundance.
That place may not be on the outside of us, but on the inside of us. After all, you can have great abundance of ease and happiness on the outside, yet still have flames and flood on the inside.
In the new year, we don’t know what’s before us, but we can trust what God holds for us–a place of great abundance–whether within or without.
Perhaps 2020 was a year of vision after all. More so, a year that cleared our vision for what and whom should be our all: Jesus.
Jesus didn’t get a place of abundance, but a place of agony—the cross.
Jesus plunged himself into the fire and flood for our sins, so that when we’re plunged into the fire and flood in our lives, we get His attention, affection, and supply.
Thrown in, we get His promise that He’ll work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
So then, let’s not approach 2021 with lurking dread or misplaced optimism. Let’s not even go for abundance. Instead, let’s go all out for the One who IS abundance (John 10:10)!
Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus.
Let’s read our Bibles and pray.
Let’s be grateful and content.
Let’s love even when it hurts.
Let’s work as unto the Lord.
Let’s laugh because we’re free.
Let’s weep, but with hope.
Let’s live by faith, not by sight.
Let’s live with confident trust.
Let’s suffer as victors, not victims.