Flashback 12 months ago, December 2019, everyone was excited about the upcoming year 2020. The mantra of 2020 vision, the year I can see victory, the year I can see blessings, the year I see my dreams come to fruition. While we were busy visualizing our year of greater, the question is, did anyone really see what 2020 had in store?
Indeed, this year was certainly a year unlike any other. Unexpected deaths, (Kobe Bryant, his daughter GiGi, Chadwick Boseman) to name a few, Covid 19 pandemic, social injustice (Ahmad Aubrey, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor), and the upcoming presidential election had a huge impact on what we saw in the days of 2020. As these complicated challenges intertwine and overlap, they have made everyday life even more difficult and hazardous for people already living through terrible circumstances.
While we were making plans for a year of our greatest victories, I am sure Kobe, Chadwick, and others had no vision nor did we of tremendous loss on the horizon. I am quite certain that none of their families knew in 2019 that they would have to endure the grueling pain of heartbreak, suffering, and fatality.
Did anyone see that a global pandemic would take over the world that managed the shutdown and cancellation of the things we participated in daily? Covid 19 changed how our children learned, how we attended church, and how we interacted with one another. We went from hugging, touching, and socializing to masks, social distancing, and sanitizing. The fear of the virus drove us to clear store shelves of toilet paper, Lysol, and bleach.
In addition to the global pandemic, social unrest permeated our nation with the murders of unarmed African Americans. We saw the murders of these individuals with our own eyes which has left indelible scars on our hearts. These deaths displayed a clearer picture of the injustices that have taken place for years. Yes, 2020 was the year the blinders were removed for the world to view this through a sharper lens.
Likewise, the presidential election and all its misfortunes changed the trajectory of this country on many levels, to be quite frank. The division had reared its ugly head, showing the America we thought we had escaped from the past. America demonstrated how morally repugnant it had become or was it a vivid reminder that it has always been this way? Not only did the election and the anticipation of the results stress us out; our president still cannot accept the fact that he did not win, and refuses to concede. SMH…
Although the events of 2020 shook us up, it remains a constant struggle to understand where was God in this? How can God allow these things to happen? I do not take these events lightly and I pray for those who have experienced devastation; however, my response with certainty is, because of God we can see past fear, past grief, and past loss. Often, God uses setbacks to advance us to the greater. We must remember His promises and know God is with us through it all (Isaiah 41:10). God has a purpose for our lives.
As we look back and reflect on 2020 and its challenges, the progress, and the path forward, my hope is we would all be kinder, forgive more, love a little harder, because know God is love. Be encouraged. God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28).