Lessons & Blessings…thought for the year…

Photo by Toni VanDeWiele

I’ve always said that there is no such thing as luck…good or bad. There are however blessings and lessons. And depending on what you take from the lesson…it can still be a blessing.

2020 has most definitely been a year of lessons.

Yes, this year has been tough. Yes, it has been filled with heartbreak. Yes, it has been filled with trials. But yes… I have learned more this year than possibly any other year of my life….and hopefully I have taught my children some things.

Here are some things that I learned…and some I needed reminding of.

*I will not live in fear. I just won’t. I realize that everyone has their own opinions on the whole “pandemic” situation, and while I believe that this has been a terrible thing, scripture tells me that I was not created with a spirit of fear. I put my faith in God. Not in man. (For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

* I will not take “time” for granted. None of us know how much time we have here on earth. But I can tell you that compared eternity, it is not much. Spend the time that you are here preparing for eternity. Cherish time with loved ones and let them know that you care about them. And if you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ…remedy that. (“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
Matthew 24:36 NKJV)

*I will worship here…I will worship there…I will worship anywhere! Don’t get me wrong, I believe that if you are able to gather with likeminded Christians in praise and worship, then you absolutely should. But I also do not believe that God Almighty is only found within the walls of a building. We…the children of God…ARE the church. Not the building. And I will praise Him wherever, whenever, and however I can. (For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Romans 12:4-5 NKJV)

*I don’t just love my family…I LIKE them! I enjoy spending time with them. I’ve always felt that it was important for us to spend time together as a family. And while there have been times this year that I have missed being able to be around large groups whenever and however we choose, I have been so blessed to have this family. I can’t imagine trying to social distance with people that I don’t truly enjoy spending time with.

*Find your gift and use it to help others. God gives each of us special gifts. The ways that you can help others is unlimited. So find your gift. If you can’t find it, ask God and He will help you. Maybe it’s simply helping someone who is without transportation go to the grocery store. Maybe it’s just lending an ear to someone who is lonely. Or maybe it’s simply praying for someone because you know that their hearts are shattered and that God is the only One that can give them peace or comfort. Whatever it is, find your gift and use it. God wouldn’t have given it to us if He didn’t want us to use it. (Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8 NKJV)

*God is in control and hears our prayers. Yes. Even when things are bad. Especially when things are really bad. God can and will…and HAS made triumphs out of tribulations. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. And I know He will never leave us, never forsake us, and that He will carry us through the hard times…IF WE LET HIM! (Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV)

These are a few of the things I have learned. Our kids are looking to us for guidance. What are they seeing? Are they seeing us scared, hopeless, hiding away and relying on “man” to fix…to cure…to save? Or are they seeing faith in action? Are they seeing us looking to God? Relying on God? Confident that God will fix…will cure…will save us? Are they seeing us living our lives as the body of Christ… using our God given gifts to help others? Are they seeing that just because things aren’t “normal” that it doesn’t mean that there is not good in them? Are we showing them that it’s not our career, social status, or possessions that define us, but rather, our faith and the perfect, all-curing, all-saving hope that it provides us with?

So as we wind down this year of lessons….don’t forget to see the blessings. They may not always be easy to find…but they are always there.

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