As christians we preach about thanking God in all situations, but this year many of us have failed to do that. This year I’ve heard very little praise or thanks for what we have. Instead I’ve heard lots of complaining about 2020 and wanting it to be over. Even as I look through social media, I notice that while every other year my feeds are filled with 30 days of thanks, I’ve seen it from only a handful. I remember a few years ago I posted a blog about our perspective. You can go back and read it here. It’s easy to list the things that have been taken from us this year. For some death has visited their doorstep. For others they’ve lost a job or taken a large pay cut. Some have lost relationships over political views. Fires have claimed the homes of others. Sickness has wreaked havoc for many.
I heard someone recently state that her whole life the world has told her she should fear. As she began listing the things she was supposed to fear I thought back through my life and could see that the world told me the same. As I child ‘Stranger Danger’ was huge and the world told me I was to fear strangers. I was taught at home that I should be cautious, pay attention to what was happening around me, but not to fear. The 1990s brought Desert Shield and the news told me to fear that my male family members would be shipped off to war. At home I was taught to trust God. The world has told me to fear many things. Currently the world says to fear covid, fear whether the president will or won’t do a specific thing. If I listen to the world I’d fear losing my job, fear people, fear running out of food, and even fear for my life while doing simple everyday tasks like going to the store. I don’t want anyone to think that I am saying to ignore everything around you because I’m not. Please pay attention to your surroundings, be responsible, and stay alert, but I refuse to live in fear of what if.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
I have a family member that is worried often about everything. When she says things like ‘but what if this happens’. My answer is always ‘what if I get hit by a bus?’. Do ya’ll know how often I’m around a bus? I live in a small town we have no buses other than school buses here. I work from home so I’m seldom out when the school bus is and I’m pretty sure the school bus stop isn’t even on my road. The likelihood of being hit by a bus is slim to none. Her reply back to me though is always, without fail, ‘yea, what if you do!’ What?! Why would I fear being hit by a bus? That makes no sense to me. I should be too busy thanking God for what He has provided to be worried about what has or what might happen. I don’t have time for both and neither do you. Like many of you I consider myself a multitasker. Let’s be honest, all that really means is that I can quickly switch from one thing to another and go then back to the first. Our brains can’t perform two tasks that require high-level brain function at once. Along the same lines I can’t really think about two things at once. I can switch back and forth, but to think about them at the same exact moment, I can’t. I can either give my time and attention to giving thanks for what I still have or I can worry and fret. If you are reading this you are alive. You have access to the internet. Since you are alive and on the internet I’m going to make a guess that you or someone in your house has a job so you probably have food as well. Instead of focusing on the fear and worry that the world around us is tossing our way, let’s take time this week to focus on what we have.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Recently at church I led the song from Psalm 118:24, This is the Day. We changed the words slightly and sang this is the year. If this is the day, then these past 7 days were also made by Him so this is the week, those weeks add up to months, and then years. This is the year the Lord has made. I’ve made a decision to be glad in it regardless of what the world says. Regardless of what negative things have happened. I’m not blind I know things have been hard for some this year, but I also know this world is not my home. I know my God is bigger than the trials here. I know Heaven will be worth it all.