The Rear View Mirror- A Blessing List for 2021

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.

A few verses have held special meaning for me this year. Even in the agony of sorrows, Jesus understands. He Himself experienced loss and grief. So many in this world are grieving; the passing or illness of loved ones, loss of jobs, businesses, homes, friends-Find comfort in Isaiah 53:3 "He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief." 

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! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 The political dramas of 2020 have created chaos. Here’s a verse I have often read to remind me of God’s sovereignty:  Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the GOVERNMENT shall be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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’m thankful for the fellowship, support, and love from my husband. I'm thankful that our adult children have navigated 2020 and have come out better on this side of it. Thankful for new friends and old friends. I’m thankful for the USA.  I’m thankful for my calico cat. And my list goes on. With each challenge Paul and I faced this year-and that list is pretty big-the Lord intervened. We don’t deserve it.

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.

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