Mere Vapor

I am all for a good meme, 2020 has produced many of them, but one night in the beginning of December when I wasn’t sleeping (that’s when I usually write), it really hit me that instead of getting sucked in to the “this is SO 2020” and the “dumpster fire” Christmas ornaments I’m challenging myself to shine light on the Anchor in my life, to bring to the forefront of conversation the goodness of God not the “2020 strikes again” post. Y’all, our purpose has nothing to do with our comfort or circumstances and when that becomes the focus and that becomes the catchphrase and that becomes the topic of our conversations we are losing sight of preaching the gospel in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). We are losing sight of being content in plenty and in want (Philippians 4:11-13). We are losing sight of being light in the darkness (Ephesians 5:9, Matthew 5:14-16).  The darkness cannot overcome us. 2020 cannot overcome us. We need to remember this world is not our home and we need to be different, speak differently, respond differently, live differently. (Romans 12:2, Philippians 3:20-21). I’ve seen this lived out faithfully in several families in my church who have experienced great loss and challenges this year and I am so thankful for their examples.

When I give this year the label of a dumpster fire of a year what I am conveying is that what is happening around me and to me is more important than what is happening in me and through me. It gives the glory to our circumstances not to our God. 

It has been hard for so many. Jobs have been lost, lives have been lost, teachers took on a load and a job that is far different than what they were hired for and above the capacity that seems sustainable. Health care workers are sleeping in RV’s and hotels away from their families. Pastors are navigating the physical and spiritual well being of their congregations while, for a time, not physically gathering.   So many on the front lines. So many living in isolation. It’s been hard. But every year has been hard for so many around the world due to persecution, famine, plagues, oppression, and disease. It’s been hard but it hasn’t been without God. I’m so thankful for the “yet” that God gives us. Sorrow YET rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10). The “But God…” we are able to add to our lives no matter what is going on around us. Each day, when we are in Christ, we wake up to another grace filled day, as a son or daughter adopted into the family of Abba Father (Romans 8:15), able to approach the holy, holy, holy God we worship and every one of His promises is still true and sure. We lay our head down at night after a day filled with His guidance and mercy, filled with His sustaining power (Colossians 1:29). We live each day with a Father that loves us, a Savior that rescued us, the Holy Spirit in us illuminating His Word and our Way, all with a future that is beyond secure. Nothing trumps eternal security (Romans 8:38-39).  Nothing tops that. I’m not diminishing or trying to negate the real suffering that is happening, but I want to point to the Hope and Light that is secure among it. As He draws me closer to Himself, as I understand and trust His love more each year, I pray I will love others as Christ loves me in a way that displays that, no matter the year, no matter the circumstances. We can always find the negative and the struggle and the darkness but can we commit as Christ followers to live like we believe and trust in the Way, the Truth, the Light of life?

So I’m going to lay to rest the “2020 dumpster fire” memes and “2020 stink, stank, stunk” ornaments. Every day we live and breath is a beautifully wrapped gift of God’s sovereign hand sustaining us and loving us, it is not a dumpster on fire. The world may be on fire around us, but that is not where we truly exist. We are not of this world (John 17:14). We don’t exist in the mere vapor of this life, we exist in the Kingdom of God (John 18:36). Everyday we are given the opportunity to bear light in the darkness. We don’t do that by bringing all the attention to the darkness with sarcasm and memes, by complaint and frustration, but by bringing all the attention to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, He gets the glory, not 2020.

Please hear me, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon and even made a funny reference to it when our storage building delivery went awry and I said “well this IS 2020” with a picture of the upside down shed. I’ve had some physical challenges this year that I have been guilty of talking a lot about. But I don’t want to get caught up in this year of always seeing the negative because it is the trending hashtag or the focus of the world. Instead, let our lives…

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the earth hear his voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,

And give him the glory, great things he hath done!

Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;

But purer, and higher, and greater will be

Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the earth hear his voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,

And give him the glory, great things he hath done!

2 thoughts on “Mere Vapor

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