This past year, 2020, was an unbelievable year for most of us, for most of the world! So much loss of life, so much hurt, so much distance between us, so much economic loss. Author John Piper in his book, Coronavirus and Christ, prays, “Grant us a cure. Deliver us – your poor, helpless creatures – from these sorrows, we pray. But do not waste our misery and grief.”
It’s been said that hindsight is 20/20. Events like what we experienced during the pandemic of 2020 can be teachable times. They can help us see with greater clarity what we can’t see clearly when life is going well. C. S. Lewis said that God whispers to us through pleasure and shouts to us through pain. The Covid-19 pandemic certainly qualifies, then, as a teachable event! Looking back on 2020, what do I see more clearly with 20/20 hindsight?
First, I see more clearly how fragile life is. Thousands have been healthy and active one week and the next week have succumbed to Covid-19. It could happen to anyone at any time, even for those of us who feel we’ve taken precautions. Life has always been tenuous, but it’s been more obvious this past year. It makes me want to appreciate each day, to embrace life more fully. It also prompts me to seek a greater degree of readiness to meet God. I’m so thankful I can count on His gracious forgiveness because I’ve accepted Him to be my Savior.
Second, I see more clearly the importance of the human connection. The need for social distancing, the reality of people dying without family or friends, the absence of gatherings with family and friends, all has reminded me how much I need, how much we all need, each other. When this pandemic is over I know I’ll have a greater appreciation for being with people and loving them better!
Third, I see more clearly how before the pandemic I depended on busyness, entertainment, going here and there and back again to distract me from cultivating more of the presence of God within. It’s been said that you can tell the emotional health of people by their ability to be quietly alone. Being still is one of the best ways to get to know God better, and the pandemic has afforded many of us more time to do this.
I believe the affirmation that God never wastes pain. The year 2020 has been quite a pain! But, by the grace of God, I want to look back on 2020 with something like 20/20 hindsight and be a better person because of it!
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5