With the end of 2020 coming soon, I’ve often said to myself, “Finish well, Susan, finish well…”, but I have to admit there are many times I haven’t even finished a day well, much less the whole year. I’ve struggled like you probably have. Let’s be honest, COVID has certainly left it’s impact on how we live our life, what we do, what we say, and how we think. I haven’t always had a good attitude and I’ve been critical, judgmental, complained, and even whined at times. Not a pretty picture of a woman who has a strong faith and not the picture I would want to hang my hat on next year.
And then…last week as I was pulling out of my driveway my eyes focused on a little cluster of green sprouts coming through the rocks in my yard. I took a second look to make sure I wasn’t seeing weeds and there they were, my long forgotten dormant narcissus bulbs popping up in the midst of December to bloom once again next year. I smiled and thought about how this past year of COVID was a dormant season in my life, covered with rocks of a critical spirit, a bad attitude, and a judgmental heart. If the narcissus bulbs can push through the rocks to start a new season, so can I and so can you.
As I thought about this simple analogy, it dawned on me that the rocks of our emotions, feelings, and attitude can easily affect who we become and the choices we make in the new year. Yes, our lives have been interrupted, changed, and for many, devastated by COVID, and on top of that, the surge of fires, hurricanes, and floods. This year’s circumstances have consumed us and brought many lives to a complete halt. To say it’s been a hard or difficult year doesn’t begin to describe what you may have gone through. It is only natural that our focus has been redirected to our own circumstances and the plight of those around us. Now is the time for us to finish this year well by choosing to refocus on God with an unshakable faith, a renewed hope, and a confident trust in God. After all, this year ends with a new beginning as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
You might consider making a list of the “rocks” that are holding you back, then visually laying the list down at the foot of the manger, as you refocus on Jesus.
Scriptures to encourage you to release and refocus…
Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Then you would trust, because there is hope;
And you would look around and rest securely.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.
…let us also lay aside every encumbrance,
and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…
From my heart…