Philippians 4:13 (NLT) “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
From adjusting to working at home to being a parent of a child learning virtually while we worked at home, 2020 presented challenges unlike those we have witnessed in some time.
On Dec. 31, 2020 — yes, the very last day of the year — I headed down the road to a funeral for my uncle whose life was claimed by COVID-19. As my brother, Pastor Larry J. Crismon II, observed “not many of us can claim that we made it through 2020 unscathed.”
So, what will 2021 actually bring? Well, there is one unmistakable opportunity that we all will have as Believers no matter our race, socio-economic status, contacts or ZIP code. Through various challenges (and opportunities) testing our patience, endurance and joy, we have the chance for Christ to empower us to overcome our adversities in 2021.
“But Andrae, I had my wages cut.” “Andrae, you do not understand I was laid off.” This article is not a romance piece — 2020 was tough for most of us — whether financially, emotionally or mentally. Yet, we are still here. Through God’s grace, the pandemic did not claim our lives. The economic upheaval did not result in us moving to the street corner.
It was not our skill in avoiding COVID-19; many of us contracted it and lived through it. It was not our business savvy that kept our shops afloat. We prayed, believed in God and went to work. This was enough to trigger God protecting, providing and preserving our families.
We cannot conflate how we feel about 2020 with what God enabled us to do in 2020. Balancing working from home and helping children learn virtually is difficult, but we are grinding our way through it. Wearing masks and bumping elbows instead of handshakes and hugs is emotionally tough but God enables us to creatively rethink how we connect. FaceTime calls to Grandma have momentarily replaced in-person visits with her but God has enabled you and me to work to pay the phone bill so that this type of connection is possible.
Satan truly desired to break our spirits with the challenges of 2020, even right up to the last day of the year. Yet, the fact that we are in 2021 means he failed.
Only God knows what 2021 will bring. Whether tears or triumph, valleys or victory, with Christ “We’ve got this!”
Andrae P. Crismon Sr. is the pastor of Higher Ground Worship Center in Murfreesboro. He is also the author of “Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: A 31 Day Devotional & Accountability Journal.” For more information on purchasing the devotional or booking Andrae for an event please go to: andraecrismon.org