Pastor's Pen

New Year, Old Problems

            We made it. 2020 is behind us, and we’ve now made it to 2021. But as reassuring as it feels to finally say goodbye to that monstrosity of a year, the clock striking midnight didn’t miraculously solve all of our issues. The hope of the vaccines is on the horizon, but we’re still not sure how distribution will be managed, and there’s still debate about efficacy and long-term effects. Last I heard, Dr. Fauci is saying we still can’t really open everything up again until Spring at the earliest. At the time of writing this article, we’re still not entirely sure who will be inaugurated on the 21st, and no matter who it is, as a nation we remain politically, economically, socially, and morally divided on most of the issues. It doesn’t help that the economic fallout of the last nine months still has to be sorted through and dealt with.

I’m really not trying to be a downer, here, but to try to keep a sense of perspective about the whole thing. Of everything we learned through surviving 2020 – flexibility, the previously underappreciated human need for socialization, and the correct way to wash our hands – the most enduring lesson must be that we can’t put all of our hopes in this world and this life. One way or another, the system always lets us down eventually and leaves us in a lurch, and if your only safety net is the system, that lurch can become insurmountable. However, I recently read a report that the only group that showed a positive rate of mental health in 2020 were regular church-goers. Because when we are able to learn to depend on God, to lean on Him instead of our own understanding, to recognize that there is more to life than just our presence on the earth, that we have the hope of the resurrection so that the threat of death no longer becomes a threat to us, then that lurch – while still serious – isn’t quite as lethal to us.  

I sincerely pray that this year will be better for everyone, that the vaccines prove safe and effective, that recovery is swift, and that whatever administration we get doesn’t negatively interfere with our lives. But if we carry only one lesson into 2021, let it be the reminder that there’s more to life than what gets reported in the news. We have a Good Shepherd who takes care of us, and who will lead us to green pastures one way or another. So trust in Him.

God’s Blessings, 
Pastor Biar

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