Faith Reflections

Where Did the Year Go

It has been months since I’ve written on this blog. So much has happened since April 2020, much I never would have imagined nor have wished for any of us. It is a reminder of the gift of not always knowing what is ahead of us. For most of us, to know it all at once would be too much but to live it one day at a time has its blessings. God knows this is the most we could manage. We walk one day or an hour at a time, looking back to God’s faithfulness in our lives and proclaiming in faith with our next step, God is still here today and will be here tomorrow, whatever may come.”

It is normal for us to crave certainty and answers. It is natural for us to feel afraid when there are few certainties and satisfying answers. Fear draws our gaze from God. Worry leaves us unsteady, thrown off-balance by circumstances, unable to find our footing on solid ground.

Scripture often speaks to setting our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2) and guarding our hearts and minds, for they are the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). The wisdom of these commands is to help us live life more abundant. They help us live a life of peace rather than anxiousness, a life of faith rather than fear. They help us live the kind of life God dreams for those God loves.

What we consume can nourish us or deplete us. Whether food or news, relationships or music, thoughts, or words. We don’t have control over many life circumstances, but we do have control over our response to them and how we prepare ourselves for them.

My prayer for you and me is that we learn better how to set our mind on the things of God. To learn to dwell on the things that are true and good, just and pure, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8-9). To live in this world but not be of this world, yet not to be so heavenly minded, we are of no earthly good. This isn’t an invitation to mentally check out from Kingdom work in the here and now. This is an invitation to live as people who trust they belong to God’s Kingdom and, thus, are free to love and live in this world without worry or fear of tomorrow.

The call to set our minds on things above is why our faith practices are essential and are gifts from a loving Parent. Faith practices like prayer, worship, meditation, music, reading the Scriptures, service, and generosity. These practices help set our minds and hearts on God. They are the practices that nourish us, the patterns that create space for God to form us, the rules of life that transform fear into peace.

2020 has most definitely reminded us that circumstances are often out of our control. But we do have control over our response. May our response be to lean in with everything to our identity as beloved children of God and trust God is at work for good. May we be people who set our minds and hearts on the things of God and join God in mending brokenness rather than living wounded by brokenness.

Shalom – Melissa

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