Today I’ve spent reflecting on goals and reading my journal from this year. On December 31 a virus that you cannot see with the naked eye was not even a part of my thought life or prayer life. January 19, Coronavirus was still not a concern for us. However, that Sunday, I preached a message about how God makes a message out of our mess. Unknown to any of us, it was a message to prepare for what was to come. The last verse in our Growthwork on that day was “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. the Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7, CEV
By March 3rd I was reading and listening to health officials preparing for the Coronavirus. That powerful little virus was about to change world history. The pandemic has killed more than a million people around the world, people who went into eternity with or without Christ as Savior and Lord. Who can forget the protests, natural disasters, and a worldwide economic meltdown. All my plans for 2020 were laid aside, all of them.
Tonight with confidence I can say that the virus has not had the last word. God has been faithful and will continue to be faithful. Each day has been a life of living by faith in Christ! Now after almost a year, we testify with full assurance that God has carried us through and we know that He will continue to care for us. Many of us are scarred by the year, but Woodland Church chose to respond with faith, courage, generosity, and deep faith that we could grow and serve God, one another, and our community during this time. And we did! To God alone be the Glory!
As passionate followers of Christ we knew that God was in control. However, it was a bit scary still. Our generation has not walked this path of faith before, or for this long. The stories of the long-suffering in the Bible and throughout church history brought us encouragement. May we leave such a legacy of faith for the generations following us.
I’m so grateful for the privilege of prayer, the gift of the Bible, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. With the beginning of a new year,I have planned prayerfully again for every domain of my life as a person, a partner (marriage), a parent (Dad and granddad), pastor, and a pilgrim. I want to grow in Christ with you! Remember, “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. the Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7, CEV
I’m looking forward to 2021 with renewed hope and vision.