I suppose it could be argued that the title could be posed as a question: "2020, a year to be thankful for?" But I do not think so. It needs to be a declaration!
Yes, there has been much divisiveness, debate, deceitfulness, and debauchery this year. It has been filled with trials, tribulations, tension, turmoil, and tragedy. We lost Kobe and Chadwick unexpectedly, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, tragically and unnecessarily.
Many of us have lost loved ones and family members whose names and memories are forever etched in our hearts. Yet, so many lost employment, benefits, investments, or businesses. Normal has been all but eliminated from our vocabulary. Interruption and inconvenience have been replaced by disruption and dysfunction.
2020, whether we like it or not, has defined our character. It has brought out the worst in some individuals and the very best in others. Many celebrities have made the following declarations: "This pandemic has leveled the playing field; we are stuck at home just like you, and, we're all in this together."
I am not so sure that was the case, but at least, there seemed to be some genuine empathy extended. Yes, the rich and famous were impacted on their ability to do their jobs with in-person events being abruptly suspended, postponed, or canceled, and production schedules came to a screeching halt.
The term "pivot" became the buzzword across culture. Zoom calls quickly became the entrepreneurial FaceTime mode of communication. Business owners were faced with the questions of viability based on whether or not their industry was deemed "essential".
Forward thinkers recognized COVID-19 and shelter-in-place for what it was and chose
to adapt and shift, while the perplexed remained paralyzed by the pandemic. Everyone seemed to lose something, and some lost everything.
Enough of setting the table for what 2020 was. Let us sit down and be thankful! Let's not just say grace, let's thank God for it! "There, but for the grace of God, go I."
"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."
If you are reading this or even if you are having it read to you, then you are still with us. Whether breath is freely flowing through your lungs or oxygen is assisting your respiratory organs through artificial means, you are alive!
"Let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord."
One of my mentors recently posted the following quote on social media, "God is still writing chapters in your story. Don't let go of your faith because of what you haven't seen yet."
Did that resonate with you as it did me? God is still writing your story and 2021 is right around the corner! There are 36 chapters left in 2020. What are you going to do with them?
"To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to remain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
Now is the time to purpose in our hearts and identify the assignment which we are called to and be intentional in our efforts and bring that sacrifice to God with thanksgiving and praise on our lips!
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
Let us take the opportunity afforded to us to pause and be thankful for that which we have been blessed with and uplift those who are struggling. Lend a hand up, not a handout.