It’s Been a Year

By Tracy Machen
December 7, 2020 in Articles

Seek and ye shall find- it’s a principle found in scripture.  No doubt your own experience also offers evidence to the validity of this principle. So the question is, “What are you seeking?”, that is, “what are you looking for?”  

Social media is full of memes about 2020 and rushing it right on out the door. I’ve heard “It’s been a year” said with much disdain and negativity. And indeed, it has been a year.  But a year of what? As you think back over this past year and let the images roll past your mind’s eye, what are you looking for? Do you see the days of work you missed related to Covid regulations? Do you see the time you were able to spend with the children in your life because of those same regulations? Do you see the disappointment of cancelled vacations and other long planned events? Do you see the opportunities that only became available because of those cancellations and a need to find alternate activities or venues? When you think back over this past year, can you see the hand of the Triune God? Can you see the many ways the Holy Spirit has enabled us to deepen our relationships? Can you see the invitation of Jesus to love those that are seemingly so different from ourselves,yet are at their core just the same? Can you see the Father’s love for ALL creation with all of its uniqueness and individuality?

It has indeed been a year! It’s been a year of suffering and blessing. It’s been a year of devastation and renewal. It’s been a year of stepping out in bravery even in the midst of fear and uncertainty.

As the year comes to a close I invite you to consider the words of Dutch priest, author and professor, Henri Nouwen. 

 “To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all our lives-the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections-that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”

That may sound “heady,” but I invite you to ponder Henri’s words as you think back over 2020 and look forward to 2021.