I don't think there is a single adult on this planet that can say with a sound mind and a straight face that 2020 was a same old same old kind of year.
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be a pandemic. We had one other pandemic since the 21st century; 2009 H1N1 and there were a few in the 20th century but none of us have ever lived through the kind upheaval that this pandemic has brought.
Countries sealed their borders, global sporting and social events were cancelled, schools went on lockdown, people lost their jobs by the thousands or were told to work from home. Tourism ground to a halt, families were separated and words cannot describe the trauma of those who lost loved ones or were sick unto death themselves. It was a year like no other.
2021 rolled around and brought a sense of hope with the introduction of various covid vaccines, world wide travel opened up again, economies rebounded, things were looking up... or were they?
Hospitals were packed to capacity, health care workers at all levels were at their wits end, the DELTA variant emerged and then OMICRON followed. People were still losing loved ones to COVID-19 and millions of children around the world were not back in school.
New year, same things?
So here we are staring at our third calendar year of an ongoing pandemic with many persons asking "God, why?"
It is natural for us to ask questions when something big happens in our lives. When our worlds feel like they've been shaken and we're trying to figure out our heads from our tails, there will be a desire for as many details as possible, to have an understanding of timelines and be assured of when and how things will return to normal, back to what we're comfortable with and what makes us happy.
We often bring our questions to God based on the (erroneous) assumption that His purpose in our lives is to fulfill our desires and make us happy. Standing on that assumption when things don't go our way, when tragedy comes knocking at our doors, when we've done everything right but it still came crashing down around us we conclude that God has failed us, we feel let down.
If we allow ourselves to sink into our feelings we end up running to God not because we are acknowledging His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, no. We actually rush at Him because He has offended our expectations and must give an answer for why we are not receiving what we deserve.
What do we deserve?
It is all too easy for us to forget that we are loved by a God that sees and has always seen not just the big picture but the entire picture. It is all too easy for us to forget that His plans for us are always for our good, even when we have no clue what that looks like. It is all too easy to forget that God has been giving us way more than we deserve since the beginning of mankind.
We deserve to be tossed aside like the chaff that the wind blows away. We deserve to receive the full payment for all of our sins which is death.
We need to rise to levels of gratitude and humility that remind us that the very act of us waking up to see another day, as hard as that day may seem, is by far above and beyond what we actually deserve.
It sounds cold to say such a thing in light of persons being abused, having to say goodbye to loved ones too early, genocide, tragic accidents and the many things we have to deal with in this sick sad world but again we must remember that we are viewing and experiencing life through our very narrow lens.
He is the I am
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 8
These words were spoken by Moses to Joshua in the presence of the Israelites as he handed over the mantle of leadership. Moses had literally spoken with God, he had witnessed the devastation of the plagues and lived through God's provision and protection with the Israelites in the wilderness.
At this point in time he knew he would not be permitted into the Promised Land, he could have raised a furore over what he deserved and all he'd been through but Moses knew he was dealing with the great I AM and had enough humility to acknowledge that.
I AM… the ONE who transcends time, the ONE for whom the past, present and future are laid out before Him all at once, the ONE whose decision making process is so complex that we can't even begin to try to understand it.
Moses' words to Joshua right before God commissioned him as leader are an encouragement to us all as Christians.
What if it is 2020, too?
Suppose this year does line up to be a repeat of 2020 or worse?
Some people would probably start tearing out their hair and screaming that they won't survive.
The same God that walked with Moses as he led the Israelites out of Egypt to the promised land, a journey that began with plagues, was fraught with trials and resulted in an entire generation passing away, that same God is with you right now.
He has gone before you into 2022, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Not one single person on this earth can predict what will happen this year but if you have decided to follow Jesus you can face it all and not be afraid or discouraged.
Danelle M. Pinnock first emerged as a writer when she began chronicling her journey with God, through a debilitating sickness. Her authentic reflections provided encouragement to many and resulted in her first publication “31 Day Devotional- Quiet Time.”
This full time homemaker, a proud Jamaican, lives in Kingston with her husband Raul and their two children Levi and Zhuri. Along with her freelance writing, she is a worship leader at her church and serves with her husband, a cancer survivor, on the marriage ministry team.
Visit her website, (danellempinnock.com) to learn how God guides a woman with a background in Chemistry, Business Management and Public Health to skillfully pen His methods and His ways through sickness, marriage and parenting.