My optimistic brain wasn’t prepared for the challenges and tribulations that would come with 2020.

None of us were expecting it. We never thought we’d experience a global pandemic, isolation from loved ones and division in our country.

Some families lost loved. Nurses and doctors juggled overly packed rooms. Small businesses and other organizations dealt with financial cuts, resulting in job losses.

I understand why people are eager for 2021 to come. We’ve faced plenty of challenges and hardships throughout the year. Yet, we’re here, folks. We’ve reached the end of 2020 and God never left our side. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

That’s a promise from God himself. Here’s another one from Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” The psalmist notes in Psalm 89:8-9, “Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.”

Even when we were isolated from each other, God provided the means for us to stay connected. The iPhones, the personal cards and letters. I was happy to enjoy a Zoom meeting with my Sunday school class from Marshfield First Baptist Church. We laughed, but also shared our challenges with each other.

There were uphill battles and tears. God still made a way for us to get through it together. I’ve seen the good happening in Marshfield and the surrounding area. The community has shown their resilience during these times. I’m thankful for that, too, because it reminds me what a great community I’m part of.

It says in Jeremiah 17:7, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord.” The prophet, Jeremiah, still spoke words of hope to the people of Israel, even though they sinned against God.

God still is doing incredible things. Let’s face 2021 in faith, not fear.

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