I believe it’s safe to say that 2020 has been quite a year no matter who you are. Covid-19 has run rampant throughout the world, there has been a lot of political unrest, and high racial tensions have surfaced in large cities across the country. Meanwhile, it has been challenging to get together with our friends and loved ones even during the holidays. I, myself, was unable to work from March to June. Stuck at home while seeing the news and unable to interact with friends and family created a stressful situation.
With everything going on, it made me remember that no matter how bad things get, God is still in control. While I initially stressed what I kept seeing, I eventually took a breath and focused on Him. I asked for His protection and that He helps me keep my trust in Him. It can be challenging because even after asking for God’s help, I had to endure difficulties this past year. I struggled with financial hardship, a few of my family members got sick, and I even got COVID-19 myself.
COVID-19 can affect people in varying ways. I’ve seen people who barely have any symptoms, while I have personally known those who have been sick for over a month. I got tested because a co-worker had tested positive, and I was starting to develop a cough. After testing positive, I quarantined for two weeks. At first, the symptoms were so bad. But as the days progressed, I developed a headache that lasted for three days straight. A fever then followed that lasted a few more days. Finally, the virus hit me with fatigue so intense that it was a struggle to walk more than a few feet. There was a point where it did not seem like I was going to get any better.
It is interesting to see the change in my prayers during this time. At first, I simply asked God to get through it and take away all the pain I was enduring. As time went on, I started to see how much He had surrounded me with love and support; My parents checked in on me every day. I had relatives drop off the medicine and things I needed from the store. I had friends call me to see how I was doing. My girlfriend was able to take care of me the whole time I was sick. In my prayers, I began thanking God for all he’s done for me, not just during this time, but for my entire life.
After I recovered, I thanked God for my recovery and for getting me through this year as a whole. This experience has called me to see that not only has He been there for me during the time I was sick, but through all the hardship that this year has brought. I also realize that God is bigger than me and my needs and that He will be there to all who call out to Him.
St. Paul writes, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." (NRSVCE, Romans 8:28) Paul then follows up with, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (NRSVCE, Romans 8:31) Paul does not mean there will not be any pain or suffering for those who follow God. Pain is the unfortunate reality of our world and our means of sanctification. God is merely reminding us of who He is and that He is always on our side no matter what happens. Remember, God has plans for all of us that go beyond what we can comprehend. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.” (NRSVCE, Proverbs 3:5)
2020 has gotten me to reflect on God’s presence in my life and has presented itself as a test of my trust in Him. It has also enabled me to see all the great things God has done in my life, even amidst all the challenging events this past year. No matter what you endured, please take the time and see the good things God did for you in 2020. I believe it is also essential that we move into the new year with a mindset of renewed trust. No matter what happens, God is still in control. I hope everyone has an excellent 2021, and may God bless us all.