Sayonara 2020! Does anyone else feel we should be given a T-shirt that reads, “I Survived 2020?” Who knows, maybe they will be sending those with our stimulus checks. But I don’t want to act like 2020 was all bad. Indeed, I feel I grew up and learned some lessons.
The biggest lesson I learned is I my life doesn’t belong to me. Psalm 25:1 says, “Oh Lord, I give my life to you.” I’ve meditated on that verse frequently of late. I’ve felt the Lord challenge me to think bigger than I have in the past with what it means to “give” my life to Him.
I used to think giving my life to Him meant praying a prayer asking Him to forgive me of my sins in hopes I would go to heaven someday. But that prayer was me being willing to trust God with something I couldn’t control. That’s easy! It’s trusting Him with the things I want to control that’s tricky. 2020 has given me lots of chances to grow in that arena.
I don’t know how it happened, but sometime during this challenging year, God has handed me a compass and made Himself, and His goodness, my true north. And when I look at that compass and meditate on His unfailing love and faithfulness, my choice to hand over the reins of my life gets easier.
2020 was also the year I fell in love with The Passion Translation of the Bible. That translation calls Psalms “Poetry on Fire.” All of the Psalms are breathtaking, but its version of Psalm 23 is what I would like to give you as a gift to carry into the new year:
“The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where He restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in His footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to His name. Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have!”
“You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near. You become my delicious feast even when my enemies dare to fight. You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit; you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows. So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!”
If the line, “fear will never conquer me, for you already have,” doesn’t make your heart leap, then you need to make an appointment with the cardiologist! That Psalm is an example of the peace that comes from completely giving your life to a loving Father. To give Him your life means you don’t have to fear living or dying. If you want that kind of fearlessness and peace, pray with me, “Lord, I give you my 2021. Breathe fresh life into my wounded and weary soul. Teach me that in Christ, I have all things. Make me a beacon of love and peace in my family and community. Amen.”