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December's Hope

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

This December was different.


This Christmas was different.


WE are different.


There is no doubt in my mind that the series of events that unfolded in 2020 have changed who we are.


While we may have experienced this pandemic together, our experiences undoubtedly varied from household to household - even from person to person.


Some lost loved ones to the Coronavirus, while others were diagnosed with the virus but recovered. In many cases, some suffered both.


Frontline healthcare workers are fighting this disease head-on, while researchers are working tirelessly to develop vaccines in record time.


There are military and medical personnel administering testing and vaccinations.


There are those helping the elderly navigate portals for appointments.


Those declared vulnerable are forced to quarantine to keep themselves safe and their loved ones who are forced to stay away for fear of unknowingly infecting them.


Restaurant owners are adapting to outgoing forms of dining to keep their businesses running, while others are forced to close businesses they worked so hard to establish.


Some essential workers had to report to work to keep our country running, and those who were told there was no longer a job for them.


There are parents with school-aged children and others with college-bound kids learning to navigate new measures for "at-home" learning.


Teachers and administrators are planning engaging plans for distance learning, and students are adapting to the virtual world of education.


All are fighting the good fight of faith to make the most normal experience possible out of the most abnormal circumstances we might ever live through.


The common ground?


None of this would have been possible without God.


The very drive to keep on going, to keep pushing through, comes from Him and Him alone.


We have to keep putting on our armor daily, so that we "may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph 6:11) and trust that "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28).


We must know that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)


The devil's plan has always been to harm us. God's plan has always been to bless us.


I hope everyone had a chance this Christmas to pause and celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world - to reflect on all that is good, amidst the heartache, and to experience the joy of the Christmas child come to save a world that is so desperately in need of saving.


The most important lesson I learned from the series of events that unfolded in this world in 2020 is that they do not shape our future. The God who formed this world from nothing does. In Him, we have continual hope to continue to get us through whatsoever we face in this world.


This hope is the Good News of Christ's Kingdom that is yet to come. This world is not our home.


I took my time wrapping up Christmas this year. I felt as though I was putting away all of 2020, nestling my Christmas decor into their appropriate closet bins, and redecorating what will most likely be my home office longer than originally anticipated. As I organized, cleaned, prayed, and cried, the annual Guideposts calendar that once sat atop my classroom desk fell to the floor and reminded me that yes, 2020 was indeed a year for Hope. Thank you for the reminder, Elizabeth Peale Allen. Most of all, thank you, God, for the Hope that rests in you and you alone.


"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"- Jeremiah 29:11.

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