In early January 2020, my husband and I went away for a day and a night to plan for the year. Tucked away in a secluded place, we scheduled each month’s activities, ministries and leisure times. I even had the audacity to write them in my planner in INK! I knew that the Lord would allow what He desired to come to pass…but I am pretty sure I was expecting most of what I planned to happen the way I penned it. Of course, it looked much different than we had carefully mapped out.
Am I bummed about that? In no way.
Were there disappointments? You bet! Here are some of them…
65th anniversary party Beach vacationt
Attending the Ladies Prayer Advance
Speaking at The Wilds for Ladies’ retreat
Going to Dollywood Amusemen
Park in Pigeon Forge
Thanksgiving with my parents
Like you, that’s just a sampling of cancellations, but when I look back on 2020, I learned so much that I don’t want to forget, and I experienced things I want to praise the Lord for. Here are some of those things…
- Greater times in the Word and prayer. He taught me so much about trusting Him, not worrying and relinquishing my plans to His perfect will as I spent time with Him.
- Having a real life visual of James 4:13-17 and seeing the folly of making plans and holding them too tightly.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
- A greater appreciation for gathering each Sunday at church. Once the doors opened again, my heart was overwhelmed at the blessing of being WITH my brothers and sisters in Christ. Zoom was nice, but it felt so wonderful to be together as a church family.
- Creative opportunities to serve others. Delivering loaves of bread and cinnamon rolls, making “curbside visits”, sending cards, and having Zoom cooking classes were a few ways the Lord gave me the chance to serve others.
- The Lord taught me that His plans and His ways are greater and higher than mine. He brought other times of rest than we had planned. He gave different kinds of fellowship and encouragement.
- A reminder that we are living in the last days. The last days began right after Jesus’ resurrection, and we’ve all been looking for Him to come in each of our lifetimes. Does that mean He isn’t coming? Hardly. It means we’re another year closer to standing before Him face to face. If He doesn’t come while we’re alive, we are each one year closer to the time of our own death. That means we need to be ready. The pandemic has reminded me of the evil that will prevail during the tribulation and how gullible people will be when the anti-Christ comes swooping in to “rescue” them in their desperate situations.
Psalm 85:8I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
I didn’t enjoy some of the hardships of 2020, but it would be foolish of me to be derogatory and curse the year when the Lord taught me so much. Will I dare to return back to the folly of my “old ways?” I don’t want to be the same when this whole trial is over. Do you?
Whether 2021 is full of blessing or trial, I know this…God will be faithful…and we’re one day closer to seeing Him. Are you ready?