Tomorrow night we kiss 2020 goodbye and take our first intrepid steps into 2021. After traveling through the 2020 wilderness of emotions and uncertainty, I'm sure we all feel ready to leave the weariness behind and look for new doors of hope. Though we take this same journey once every 365 days, this year seems to be more poignant.
I plan to take time to have a private funeral for 2020 somewhere around midnight, to lay it down and let it rest in peace. Then, by faith, pick up hope and look for the morning of 2021.
But as with every New Year, it is good to look back and review what has been learned and experienced. For me, 2020 was amazing. I started out with a list of goals and watched God change them around. Some were dropped. Some were exceeded. But God was there with me through every day, every emotion, and every hour of loneliness. I hope you can say the same.
Even as I prayed this morning, I found myself thanking Him for the activity of His hand in my life during 2020, and I was reminded, "There is no wilderness without its angels." How true.
God's ministering spirits have been beside me through every lockdown, every disappointment, and every long, lonely day of 2020, and they will continue being with me into and through the unknown of 2021.
I thought of Elijah laying down by the brook, exhausted with the ministry and labour. Then, an angel touched him. Angels guarded him in his blackest depression and ministered to his wearied soul. He may have felt lonely and isolated, but he was accompanied by legions of angels, and more than that, God touched His exhausted child and renewed his spirit.
As we leave 2020, we can be assured of the same. God has never left our side and never will leave us. Though we may have experienced moments of fear and extreme loneliness, His angels have been ministering spirits accompanying our every step. In our darkest hours, there were angels in our wilderness.
Dear child, God does not say today, "Be strong,"
He knows our strength is spent; He knows how long
The road has been, how weary you have grown,
For He who walked the earthly roads alone,
Each bogging lowland, and each rugged hill,
Can understand, and so He says, "Be still,
And know that I am God." The hour is late,
And you must rest awhile, and wait
Until life's empty reservoirs fill up.
As slow rain fills an empty upturned cup.
Hold up your cup, dear child, for God to fill.
He only asks today that you be still.
Grace Noll Crowell
Dear friend, as you take time to mark the passing of the midnight hour, pause and be still. Allow God and His ministering angels in the wilderness to fill you with the much needed courage for 2021.