2020 has been a year to remember, and it’s not even over. In fact, it is looking like the effects of this year will continue on for the next decade. From the lives lost in the pandemic to the distasteful decisions of leadership, the actions recorded this year will forever change the hearts and minds of citizens across the world.
It is hard to not get caught up in depression. It is hard to not cling to anger. It is hard to not fear. It is hard to trust. It is hard to love. It is hard to live. We are experiencing a time where unity is unlikely, compassion is withheld, war knocks on the door, and the shouting of evil drowns out the whispers of hope. If you have found yourself struggling to maintain peace in this time, I ask you, with all humility, who are you trusting?
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
The beginning of all creation, even humanity, is speculated by many, but known fully by God. At humanity’s birth, there existed stars in the sky, a moon to light the night, animals of the fields and animals of the sea, Jesus and Satan, angels and demons, atoms and planets unseen, and infinite possibilities. I ask you… when did God ever say, “Perhaps, I made too many things. I am overwhelmed.”?
In the vastness of space, there are an innumerable number of stars, planets, black holes, and possibly other species. Under the lens of a microscope, there are an innumerable number of atoms, germs, decomposers, and possibly other species and molecules. Despite these billions upon billions of species, everything works in order and according to His plan. The sun doesn’t consume planets in its system, the decomposers do not consume living creatures, and an atom does not change on its own. Everything, including us, works together in harmony.
I know I can’t be the only one wondering why an asteroid hasn’t come close to hitting earth yet (or again for you people that believe in that version of the dinosaurs’ extinction). I can’t be the only one wondering if God is sweating about nuclear warfare just as much as we are. There’s no way He can just sit and watch without some anxiety, right? When did God say He was tired? When did God say He was overwhelmed? When did God say He’s afraid of what will happen next?
King Solomon figured it out a long time ago. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has already been, in the ages before us.” I challenge you to name a problem we have here on this earth today that is new for God.
Did not Israel and Judah go into civil war? Did not Persia and Babylon threaten to conquer the world? Did not Israel, Judah, Egypt, Rome, Persia, Babylon, Canaan, and countless others have horrible rulers in power? Did not Israel and Egypt suffer pandemics and famines? Yet, how many remained obedient to God and prospered? How many put their trust in God and saw relief?
You don’t even have to go that far back to realize humanity has risen time and time again above the chaos and lived to see another season. Have we not outlasted two World Wars? Did we not survive the Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Flu? Did the Civil War destroy America? Haven’t we survived multiple presidents filled with evil? What are you afraid of? Who are you trusting in?
I get it, not everyone will make it out of this alive or unscathed. Many have lost their homes, their stability, and some even their lives. But who declares that you will be the next to die or struggle? And even if you do struggle, God has brought people through time and time again, despite the circumstances threatening and surrounding them. I am a living witness that even the roughest of seasons do end, and you can live through it and thrive through it to the other side.
Instead of fear, I believe we should have the same mentality as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When facing death by furnace, by order of King Nebuchadnezzar, they did not cower. They did not beg, cry, or fight. They merely said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not want a golden statue of a king to be made. They did not want an order to be sent out to bow to this statue. They did not wish to practice in the ritual of the nation that occupied their lands. They did not want to be thrown into a furnace. Yet, they stuck to their core beliefs and were saved by God in the end.
We should be the same. We did not ask for a pandemic. We did not ask for poor leadership. We did not ask for Covid-19 deaths, police shootings, racism, hatred, unemployment, division, or all of the uncertainty and fear that comes with it. We know what kind of lives we want to live, and we should, as they did, put our faith in our God, whether He comes to the rescue or not.
Tell me, where does God not exist? You fear death as if God isn’t on the other side of it. You fear authority as if God didn’t place them there. You fear the unknown as if God isn’t all-knowing. Maybe it time to stop putting your trust in yourself, and other people, and let God play the role He eagerly wishes to play.
There is not a storm, earthquake, volcanic eruption, or solar flare that happens outside of His will or knowledge. God is a being that literally keeps millions of solar systems operating at the same time. You think the ignorance of billions somehow has Him flustered? I will tell you right now that it is better to trust in God than the eight or nine billion people alive on this earth at the same time. If you were to sum the knowledge of all mankind into an AI, it would still be dumber than God.
God knows this virus better than the most studious doctors know it. God knows the economy better than the most intelligent economists. God knows how to save lives better than the people living these lives. God knows how to run a country better than the greatest country on earth. Don’t you think it’s beyond time to start trusting in Him?
We watch the riots, looting, mass shootings, the rising number of infections and deaths by infections, the bickering presidents, and arguing nations. To us, it looks like chaos, and we are tempted to fear, cower, mourn, and get angry. We buy guns, we store up money and supplies, we prepare ourselves for the worst, and see nothing wrong with our worrying.
What use is it to worry? Worrying does not prevent anything. Planes fall out of the sky, family members get sick (cancer is still quite alive), and drunk drivers still hit the road. If you were to point out every possible way that you could die in a day, you would worry yourself to death. I dodge car accidents on the daily going to work! Also, stress, the main symptom of worrying, can kill you! I encourage you to stop trying to control the chaos. Instead, use God’s reaction.
Do you see God out here stressing? Is God scrambling His elite prophets to prophecy His return? Have not the false prophets been exposed by the pandemic and election alone? How many pastors gathered in spite of the government ruling and got sick? How many declared Trump victorious just to watch him lose? To us, this election was chaos. To God, what He wanted to happen is what happened.
As the child stands behind the adult when the bonfire is set ablaze, so should you stand behind God as He exposes the world of men. It is okay to be afraid to get burned, but if God is not worried about it, why are you? God is at peace. He is not panicking. Ask Him why He is so calm about the churches getting exposed in America. Ask Him why He waits to do something about the climate, the violence, and the confusion. I wish I could tell you, in detail, exactly why I have so much peace as a Black man in America, but every time, the most accurate statement is, “Jesus.”
When I stress, I pray to Jesus. When I worry, I pray to Jesus. When I’m confused, I pray to Jesus. When I’m doubtful, I pray to Jesus. When my president is insane, I pray to Jesus. When my governor has lost his mind, I pray to Jesus. When I think I might be sick, I pray to Jesus. When anyone I know gets sick, I pray to Jesus. When I know I can personally do nothing, I pray to Jesus. When I know I can do something, I pray to Jesus. If I can get you to do anything in these times, it would be to pray to Jesus.
It is not some relief ritual. It is not some positivity habit. It is the literal reaching out to the only one who can do anything about everything happening right now. God can place the right people into the right situations. He can reveal the vaccinations needed to be discovered. He can perform acts of miracles where the science of men is limited. The best part of it is that He can tell you all about it if you bother to listen to Him in all your talking.
It is my belief that God used the pandemic to expose the selfishness of humanity. A virus could’ve been defeated in a month, but instead it will take a year. People refused to stay inside and away from each other for one month, and now millions are dead. Even more will be infected because people are still being selfish, partying and gathering when they know they aren’t supposed to. Yet, somehow, the number of infected keeps rising.
The pandemic exposed the flaws in the American system. Where millions were laid off because of the pandemic, the government only allotted $1,200 for 9 months of suffering (so far), and not everyone received the money the government said they’d give them. Yet, somehow, billionaires got richer. Nurses, doctors, elderly, and the sick are all suffering in a much tenser environment, but the men and women with too much money somehow got even richer. If you pay attention, you will see what God is trying to show us in this controlled chaos.
It is my belief that God used the presidency to expose the arrogant, insensitive, elitist, racist, false religious, and perverted ways of Americans. In a nation full of different cultures, one particular culture of hate received more attention than anyone else. That culture wasn’t white supremacy, but the culture of attention seeking. Every story published did not seek to spread the news, but rather spread hatred, bias, and division. Lines were drawn, names were called, and hatred was spewed. All we did was play along and gobble it all up.
I do not claim to know everything, but what God has shown me in my peaceful walk through a pandemic (thank God), I will never forget. I saw lives ruined and rebuilt. I saw lies exposed. I saw people made into puppets. I saw propaganda at an all-time high. I saw false prophets exposed. I saw the Church challenged. I saw life, as we know it, changed.
People died because of selfishness. People died because of power-hungry men and women armed with a gun and badge. People died because of gang skirmishes and jealousy. People died because of helicopter crashes. People died because of domestic terrorists totting guns under the guise of protecting and serving, and some of them didn’t even have the authority to do so. People died because of isolation and warped perceptions of how important they truly were to us. People died in so many senseless ways.
God sees it all. God is speaking about it all. God is relenting. As much as we say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” that second-coming will not be a happy one for many of us (read Revelation). God is begging us to seek Him, because the line that was drawn before any of this chaos began is still etched in the palm of His hand. There will be no excuses for what you did or didn’t do during this pandemic and this presidency. God has been talking to His children through it all… If you have not heard Him… check yourself.
His voice is still heard, even if the Church is not gathering in their customary buildings. His actions are still seen by those who are paying attention to Him. His thoughts are clear, and everyone who knows and values them acts accordingly. Help the sick, the poor, the abandoned, the orphans, the widows, and all who are in stress right now. The greatest of people are the ones who serve others first.
I encourage you, call and text the people you’ve been thinking about. They need to know they were thought of. Pray for the people you see doing evil and are sick. They need a covering over them just like you do. Be concerned for other people. You aren’t living this life alone. Accept the world for what it is, and work to make it a better place than what you found it to be.
I pray the voice of God reach you. I pray the right people show up in your life to relieve you of your worries. I pray sanctification over you. I pray salvation cover you. I pray peace and understanding in the chaos. I pray value and love be poured out over you. I pray you hear Him and listen.
No one blames you for being flustered in this chaos. No one blames you for worrying. No one blames you for being upset. No one blames you for feeling like God isn’t listening to your cries. It is very understandable. I only ask that you give God room to show you He’s been listening, and know rest.
Next time you think to stress, worry, get angry, dejected, suicidal, or depressed, reevaluate who or what you’ve been trusting in. If what you’re trusting in is a temporary thing, give it to God, who is eternal. Then, find a way to do the very opposite of what you were doing. Be at peace, be carefree, be happy, have hope, be encouraged, find purpose, and be joyful. I asked God for strength this year, and I received it. Ask for what you need, and be ready for when God gives it to you.
With a heart that prays, hopes, and believes in you and for you,
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