On our wall in our home are numerous Christmas and New Year’s cards, many touting a variation of the theme “Good Riddance to 2020!” The pandemic is a world-wide tragedy that is still continuing for many people. In the United States, many states are beginning to re-open after over a year of shutdowns. Thousands have died and many survivors suffer from debilitating damage to their lungs and other organs. Good riddance indeed.
Was there anything good that came out of this? My first answer was an emphatic no! But as I reflected upon this question, some things came to mind.
Less traffic congestion and cleaner air
Easier participation in meetings via the internet
More frequent communications with geographically separated friends and family via the internet and social media
More time to spend with family and learn new life skills
Greater appreciation for the brevity and fragility of life
I do not attempt to find a silver lining in every bad situation. However, I do believe the pandemic accelerated good trends that were already in place but I had not previously acted upon them. Now that our country is opening up once again, will these good trends continue for myself and others? Already I am noting the usual delays with rush hour traffic and the air quality becoming poorer. This verse from Ecclesiastes encapsulates some of my feelings. While it may seem pessimistic, God is asking us to seek after and cling to the values that truly make a difference for this life.
Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NLT)
If nothing is certain in this life, how can we make the right choices and find permanence and stability? What we are truly seeking is wisdom; wisdom to make the right choices and correctly order our priorities.
Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Proverbs 4:5-7 (NLT)
How do we find wisdom?
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)
When we are seeking to find the good in the bad, when we look for certainty in uncertain times, when we attempt to find hope in a forlorn situation, we are seeking wisdom. This can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Was there anything good from the pandemic?
I learned to prioritize the activities in my life that had eternal significance. With the wisdom of Jesus Christ, I have begun the changes. How about you?
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.