Last year at the end of December, I wrote an article for the DAR about having 20/20 vision.
20/20 vision is the perfect eyesight that God gives us to see and experience the world in which we live.
I also mentioned that as we began the year 2020, we would hope to have a perfect vision of what God would want us to become in 2020.
Little did we know the events that were about to unfold just three months into 2020.
COVID-19 really kind of upset the apple cart as the saying goes.
As the months slowly passed, we looked forward to 2021 with hopefulness that a vaccine would be produced, and the pandemic beginning to be under control.
At “warp speed” our nation’s best medical professionals worked around the clock and created and did clinical trials on several vaccines.
I am thankful for the God given science professionals all over the world that helped create the two vaccines that are currently being given.
Thankfully, people in the health care profession have begun receiving the vaccine to bring the pandemic under control.
But, as we begin 2021, the one thing that we know for sure from the scriptures is that God is still in control of the universe and that as the prophet Isaiah says God continues to hold us in the palm of his hand.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Thus, we can look forward to 2021 with the assuredness that God will be watching over us even still.
How do I know this with such clarity?
Long since the beginning of creation God has been watching over the world that he created and the people.
The scriptures say, “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.” Psalm 121:8
Again, the scripture say, “A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.” Deuteronomy 11:12
Even Job in his dire life situation acknowledged that God was taking care of him, “Oh that I were as in months gone by, as in the days when God watched over me;” Job 29:2
Job knew that God would at one point in his life be again in total control.
In the end, Job was fully restored.
But, the people didn’t listen and began sinning and turning away from God.
Finally, God then sent Jesus to show us the ultimate way to know his love and peace.
We just celebrated Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning all around the world.
Jesus was sent to a people who were longing to know God’s presence more fully in their life.
“For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its savior and rescue it!” John 3:16-17.
Wow! That is the ultimate assurance that God is in control even when it seems that our world may be falling apart.
One thing that the pandemic has really stressed for me is that we must really truly turn to God fully for facing all the events of our life.
Sometimes, we only give a portion of our life to God, and we try to do it on our own and we struggle.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we are all in the same boat together as we navigate uncharted waters of life.
We must lift up each other and pray for each other.
We must put Christ back in the word Christian.
We must be kind to one another.
It is my prayer and hope that as we begin 2021 that we will all turn to God’s word for our life more fully.
Our nation has been through a lot these past several months with the pandemic and the upheaval of the election process.
People are very distrustful of other people it seems and perhaps a little bit distrustful about God’s assurances for their life.
Over and over I’ve heard from different people the question, “Why would God allow such a thing as COVID-19 to happen and cause so many deaths?”
I do not think that God caused COVID-19, but God has been there with the people who have lost loved ones.
God will continue to be here for us in the support of our family and friends, in the smile of a stranger, and in the beauty of the creation.
But, as you know, I think we live in the most beautiful part of Missouri.
Be well, be safe.
And, please, wear a face covering. It’s what Jesus, I think, would do.
Rev. Frank Chlastak began work as senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Poplar Bluff on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.