Lessons from 2020: I Am Not in Control
Reflection is a valid tool for self-improvement. The root of reflection is the casting back of light, heat or sound. Think of an echo reverberating from a deep canyon or the stylish person smiling back at you from the vanity mirror. With the proper medium one can, over time, perfect his or her yodeling or improve his or her image. It is the same with the inner man. Choosing the correct medium for self-reflection will permit one to improve character, emotional health and, most importantly, one’s faith. James identifies that medium as God’s Word. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25 NKJV)
Reflecting on the year 2020 brings several important spiritual lessons to mind. Foremost is the shattered illusion that I am in control of circumstances. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the course of events on a global scale. It has modified the way we work, shop, learn, worship and, in a word, live. Trials of this scale test our character and our faith. They tempt the Christian to doubt or worse, to trust in one’s own wisdom. Some have immersed themselves in politics as their preferred method to save the world. Hopelessness sets in as blessings are reduced or obscured by fear. Many are withdrawing emotionally, preferring their own company to that of their fellow saints.
It is sad that many who make the realization that they are not in control also fail to recognize and turn to the One who is in control. Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:1-3 NKJV) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, (Colossians 1:15-19 NKJV)
It was God who was in control in 2020. He was also in control in 2019 and has been in control since the creation. Turn to Him, trust in Him and rely on Him when it seems that everything in your world is spinning out of control. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah (Psalms 46:1-11 NKJV)
Reflect. Be still. Know God.