Many of us may be glad to see 2020 to come to an end. COVID-19 flooded the world with illness, suffering, death, grief, economic losses, social distancing, depression, anxiety, and fear.
The COVID “flood” reminds me of another worldwide flood recorded in the Bible.
“And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood” (2 Peter 2:5). Noah and his family were saved alone, and although it rained 40 days and nights, they spent a little over a year on the ark. Sound a little like 2020? They experienced a kind of isolation and social distancing we cannot imagine – they were the only people left on the earth!
But God. These two words in Scripture denote a turning point, the opportunity to embrace another perspective about our circumstances.
Genesis 8:1 says, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.” God remembered them. God remembers us. He has not forgotten about us during the pandemic. In fact, just as He was using the flood in Noah’s day for a particular purpose (to judge the wickedness of mankind), He is using the pandemic now. Nothing is wasted with God. Everything He does is good and has good purpose according to His definition of “good.” And if we have surrendered to Christ, we know for certain everything is working together for our good (Romans 8:28).
As you reflect on 2020, consider these questions: Compared to this time last year, how is your life different? How has the pandemic affected you, and how are you responding? Are you looking for God’s good purpose in it? What has He taught you? How has He changed your pace in life, your relationships with others, your relationship with Him?
On January 1, 2020 I wrote a prayer containing a list of goals. Reading back over it this week, I was amazed by how God answered some of my prayers through the pandemic! For example, I prayed for my neighbors and for deeper relationships with them. God brought the whole neighborhood home because of COVID, so we have had more time to talk out in the yard or on walks. About one-third of us (including our family) experienced the deaths of our parents this year. With the slower pace of life due to the pandemic, we were more aware and sensitive to the grief around us, and we seized these opportunities to share the love of Jesus and the hope we have in Him. God’s timing is always perfect. I’ve prayed for my neighbors this year like never before: “Lord, let there be none lost on our street!” He is able!
No matter what the COVID “flood” brought into your life this year, know this: God is in control. He has purpose in it, and He is always good. He loves you and will work all things together for your good if you will surrender everything to Jesus! Our hope has been tested by much adversity, but it remains unshaken. May the Lord grant you strength, peace, joy, and unshaken hope regardless of the floods you experience. He is able!
Happy New Year!