I'm taking a deep breath and thanking God that 2020 is making its exit into history. I'm sure I have lots of company! At the precipice of another new year, many Americans make resolutions and set goals. This year instead of New Year's resolutions, I'm glancing into my rear-view mirror of the year I just lived. I'm making a Blessing List to carry into 2021. I invite you to join me.
When creating my list, I also found great blessings in what DID NOT happen! And in small blessings too. I’m tucking my list in my bible and when I feel overwhelmed in 2021, I’m pulling out my Blessing List.
I read Psalm 103:1-5 out loud as a praise to chase away doubt, depression, or anxiety: Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Here's a blessing on my list that DID NOT happen. I'll begin with profusely thanking the Lord for delivering my husband and me from Covid-19 without going to the hospital. We are 74 and 76! We specifically prayed-and thank those who prayed with us and sent food and other gifts-that a hospital decision would not even have to be made. We were miserable with moments of fear, depression, and anxiety. But we did not face that hospital decision. We call that a miracle. Honestly, I have no idea why some recover and some don’t. All I can do is thank God, pray for others, and help where I can.
I also like to read about Joseph, Job, and Jeremiah, and other biblical figures to reflect on how the Lord redeemed each situation in their life stories; how God re-fashioned each challenge or heartache for valuable purposes that they-and we-could never have imagined. You may not be far down the road yet trying to make sense of a hardship or disappointment. But let’s walk together in 2021.
Keep your Blessing List handy and let’s rely on Philippians 4:8. “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things. And as Hebrews 12:2 teaches us, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”