It feels as if this whole year has been an endless tunnel of waiting. From the stories I’ve heard and seen, there has been cancelled trips, cancelled weddings, cancelled plans, job losses, depleting bank accounts, loss of parents, loss of children, loss of loved ones, loss of health…2020 has been a year of deep loss and the absence of a lot of good things so many of us had hoped for.
I lost another baby this year. On top of that I lost a lot of my jobs – something that was completely out of my control. And along with the masks and bottles of sanitisers, all the plans I had for 2020 which seemed solid and worthy suddenly flushed away down the drain. I am not sure about you, but from what I have been reading, it seems like many of you out there have been hit with similar blows. It’s been a hard or really uncertain year for everyone in different ways.
Where do we cling to in times like this? All the strategy books, and self-strength mantras seem so weak when your whole world and along with your deepest hopes crumble under you. The self reliance gets really tiring. You can say ‘be strong. I am enough’ to yourself 100 times, and when it comes down to the end of it all, it will still fill your soul the way water fills a can that has holes at the bottom.
Where do we look to when all this fails?
If there is anything I can share, that has gotten me through some pretty scary moments during this stupidly uncertain year, it is knowing that God gives and God takes. That may seem really terrifying, but the bible tells me that He is a good God who is fully trustworthy of this because He is faithful to His every word and His every promise. And he has promised that He always always does it with the BEST reasons. “𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥, 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴. 𝟷𝟷 𝘕𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘶𝘭. 𝘓𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘯, 𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘪𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘪𝘵.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)
While I may not know all the whys behind those reasons, I know that God is a God that is INCREDIBLY FULL of grace to sinners like myself who frequently forget him even when He has abundantly satisfied our hands and our hearts. And He gives, even when He takes. The slow down of for family time we never had when work was so busy. The little gifts of food surprises from friends. Having a roof over our head. Tv to watch during lock down. Money to buy groceries during a pandemic. Hot water to shower with. The list is endless. What is on your list?
So, I may have seemingly lost a lot this 2020, here is my certainty – God never withholds what He deems to be better for us. It may be different to what we want, but I only need to look in the rearview mirror at all the times in my life where the ‘taking away’ seemed too much or too painful or unfair, that God has always yielded fruit far better that I never regretted after.
I have learned through this season, what are the things I have held on to too tightly for my security. And it has given me better focus on Jesus – the rock and only certain unwavering anchor in time that is so turbulent and uncertain. And having my eyes fixed on Christ has meant holding onto a peace and a certainty that the coronavirus has not been able to take away.
So while we wait for the things that we had hoped for, I am comforted that if God has not given it to me, it means there is only something better waiting ahead. I trust in the unfailing faithfulness of a good God, and that is the anthem I sing to myself whenever the darkness seems too heavy to wear on my shoulders. I hope it becomes yours too.