Here we are at the end.
What could I say about this year?!
It showed us the trickling affects of the lockdowns of 2020. The voices of loneliness, anxiety, and depression grew louder this year. It built divisive mindsets, turning people against ideas and neighbors. It turned everyone into a fact-checker in one form or another. It caused people to unfollow the news and others to live by its every breathing word. It made people draw lines in the sand for reasons they never thought they’d have to. It caused people to investigate every aspect of another’s life based on what they share or who they follow.
It tried to tear us apart.
But, 2021 revealed something else.
It revealed the need for love. Not a world perspective of love, but pure love. God’s love. A love I have seen burst through the darkness of this year, radically changing those it touches. I’ve seen it deliver those who were deemed a lost cause. I’ve seen it heal the broken and comfort the mourning. It’s revived relationships that didn’t stand a chance without it. It’s made beauty from ashes. 2021 has caused darkness and pain, no one can deny that, but it’s also brought out God‘s hope and light to those who accept it. And those who‘ve accepted it have shone that light proud, pulling others to it in such a willing manner.
We’ve seen division, hate, pride, greed, and much more on display this past year. Being the same way won’t change it. The love described in 1Corinthians 13 holds the attitude that can destroy the darkness we find ourselves in:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
We’ve seen some dark times, but what better place for light to shine than in darkness. My eyes have seen and my heart has felt this love more powerfully this past year than ever before. People are getting ahold of this life-changing love and spreading it to others. It’s been so beautiful to watch, and I know it’s only beginning.
My prayer for 2022 is that we keep pressing forward through the storms of our lives to reach for this love. When we do, I pray for the strength to give it out to others. Not just others you agree with, but to those who you have trouble seeing eye to eye and to those who react out of their own pain. I pray for eyes to see that there is more for us than against and that we are better together than apart. This is the love that changes the world and this is the love I hope to see displayed throughout this coming year.
As a wise man once said:
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
I hope all of you have a safe and happy new year. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us! God bless!