Did 2020 make you stronger…or leave you flat on your back?

2020 was a weird year for everyone and 2021 is not showing any signs of normalcy just yet. IS this the new normal? Is it temporary? The uncertainty of it all is the most unsettling part.

But, as Christians, we should always look upon the things of this earth as temporary.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

It’s not always easy and I was certainly not exempt from the roller coaster ride we called 2020. I had some highs (the news of a new grandbaby on the way, publishing three books), some lows (the loss of two sisters-in-law, massive dental work, a benign but still undefined mass) and a whole lot of in-between. There were times that I drew closer to the Lord, building up my faith in these uncertain times. And then there were times that I buried myself in a book or binge-watched old sitcom series in an attempt to escape from the current reality.

The key word was to give myself grace.

There is a big difference between grace and justification, however. If I picked up a book to read one afternoon for a little escapism, that was fine. If I put the Lord on a shelf and busied my hands and mind with other things to cope 24/7, I was wrong. I had to carefully watch that line, especially given my ostrich-burying-head-in-the-sand coping tendencies.

My writing has suffered these last two months, an effect more of a physical nature than a spiritual one, though I’m very aware that my physical, mental, and spiritual nature are closely tied together. I had blog posts in my head but just didn’t have the energy to sit down and write them.

And that brings me to point number two. Along with grace vs. justification, I had to find the line between rest and discipline. Sometimes I needed to rest. But there are times when I need to make myself do things I don’t feel like doing because they are necessary. Whether it’s writing or washing dishes or making the bed. (And let me tell you, 2020 has left more unmade beds in my room than the last 20 years combined!) Sometimes we do things out of obedience and not because we feel like it.

So where are you as 2020 comes to a close? Are you on a mountaintop, having spent the year drawing closer to God? Are you in the wilderness, having spent the year hiding from Him and going in circles? Or are you like me, somewhere in between but knowing the mountaintop beats the wilderness any day?

Give yourself grace. Give your body rest. But make sure Jesus is still a part of every waking moment!

Have a great New Year!