So, here we are on the last day of the 2020th year of our Lord. And what a year it has been! I suppose when it began with unprecedented wildfires in Australia, one should have taken due heed that the rest of the year was going to progressively get worse. On the personal front too, this year has been filled with turmoil but through it all God has been patiently at work with me – using the extended periods of isolation at home to draw me closer to Him.
If I had to summarize the main message that God has been trying to gently convey to me, it is this: I have, all my life thus far, been on a journey seeking fulfillment and have been seeking it in all the wrong places. I have made idols of things that cannot ultimately satisfy and thereby turned bitter what would otherwise have been good. Along the way I formed relationships that were rooted in self-centeredness thereby producing much pain and suffering. Though I knew of God, I did not know Him as He must be known. God to me was someone I ran to for comfort and succor when I hurt. In His loyal faithfulness He would provide the help I needed only to be met with indifference once I had received what I was looking for.
This year, He showed me the futility of this idol worship. He showed me that we only get to choose what/who we worship, not whether we do so. And anything that we try to prop up in the place that rightfully belongs to God will ultimately fail us and those that we love.
God also showed me that His goodness is not contingent upon my understanding of it. In other words, it is not when I eventually comprehend His goodness that He becomes good – He is always good, even when I do not understand it. Over and over and over again I have doubted His goodness only to eventually understand the perfection of His goodness. And yet, every day as it were, the battle is again renewed afresh – once again I put God on trial when circumstances aren’t what I would like them to be. This is perhaps why God asks that we trust in Him first. Will He who did not spare Himself for our sake not also give us all things?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:32
I also discovered the field of Christian apologetics and philosophy of religion. I became acquainted with the arguments and debates that are commonly had between theists and atheists and also among theists of different stripes. This is only a beginning however and I have many miles to tread. I have built up quite the collection of books that are waiting to be read!
I gained a fuller appreciation for the pro-life position on the abortion issue. I came across brilliant, compassionate reasoning by Stephanie Gray that has me fully convinced on the virtue of this perspective.
This year I turned 40 and it seems to me that God is calling me on to a new purpose. It isn’t clear to me at this time what it is, but I know change is coming. Whatever it is, I know it will be good.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6