“This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe….” (Hebrews 12:27-28, ESV)
Twenty-twenty has been an interesting year, to say the least. We all know someone who was physically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have known someone, personally, who has lost his or her life to this non-discriminatory virus. Many of us have had to endure financial difficulties to one degree or another regardless of our vocation. And, of course, we have all been impacted by government-ordered lifestyle changes. Our world has been shaken; and while we have yet to see COVID in the rearview, we can all still find things for which we can be grateful.
For me, personally, I am grateful that in this “shaking” I have been able to narrow my focus, setting aside the less important things to prioritize the more important things. I have cut way back on my streaming to focus on reading. This has had a positive effect on my fellowship with God (and hopefully on this blog!). I’m also more focused on my witness, particularly in how people view Christ based on the life I live.
Perhaps, you can be grateful that God has kept you and your loved ones from becoming ill. Or maybe you have been able to use the social limitations as an opportunity to start an exercise program, start writing again, pick up that camera or guitar that has been collecting dust, or learn a new language or skill. Or, honestly, maybe all the gratitude you can manage to stir up is because you were able to pull yourself out of bed this morning.
This has certainly not been an easy year. But, “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18, ESV). “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). God is faithful and good! We may not always understand the way life plays out, but we can be certain of His goodness and His love for us.
We are fast approaching 2021. And I can think of no better way to begin the new year than with grateful hearts, sincere faith, and genuine love. Take a little time over the next couple of days to sit down and write down the things for which you are grateful. Then, worship God from that place of gratitude.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!
Image by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash