It’s Easter Sunday, and the sun is shining brightly. The daffodils are blooming outside. The grass is finally starting to look green again. You sit on a hard wooden pew in the old church sanctuary. You are surrounded by a sea of people who seem genuinely joyful. Their cheerful voices echo throughout the entire sanctuary. But Satan’s voice is the only thing you can hear right now.
Even though I haven’t seen that many Hallmark movies, I’ve seen enough to know what the end is going to be: happily ever after. Honestly, Hallmark, you’re deceiving so many women with your cookie-cutter romances. Our expectations for dating and marriage are completely skewed, thanks to you and your sidekick, Disney.
I bet we would all say that we hope 2021 is better than 2020. But what if it’s not? What if 2021 is worse than 2020? My goal for this post is not to make you lose hope but to point you to a hope that we can’t lose.
You were sure that this was going to be your year for finding true love. You were determined that you wouldn’t spend this Christmas alone. You thought you would definitely have someone to kiss under the mistletoe in 2020. But you wonder if you’ve lost your chance at finding someone to spend the rest of your life with.
I know how icky our emotions can seem at Christmastime. They bubble up and bubble over, and we panic. We don’t know what to do with these uncomfortable feelings, so we do anything and everything to not think about them. To brush them to the back of our minds. To forget they exist. And that seems to sort of work. At least temporarily. Until we are completely and utterly alone.
I am not saying that God caused the coronavirus. I am saying that God allowed the coronavirus because He let sinful humans with a freewill choose to sin. (I won’t get into the blame game of who caused the coronavirus because that’s a discussion for another time.) As a pastor recently explained to me, the Fall caused a lot of unpleasant consequences for sinful humanity, including illness and death. But I believe God can still use this messy situation for good…if we let Him.
Maybe it’s just me…but I feel anything but free on this Independence Day. Instead of feeling free, we now feel like prisoners. Wearing our masks. Limiting our gatherings to 10 people. Staying six feet apart. Quarantining in our homes. I haven’t felt free since mid-March of this year. But I didn’t lose my freedom when the coronavirus hit. Neither did you.
This post is about seeing how Christ's resurrection relates to the coronavirus. Which might seem like an odd lesson for Easter. But I want us to know that God and His power are the same, no matter what our circumstances are.
I want you to know that feeling lonely isn’t sinful; it’s human. You’re not the only one who feels lonely, and you’re not the only one who wants a boyfriend/girlfriend. So I hope this poem resonates with you and gives you the strength to press on and keep waiting.
I hope this post won’t sound like a lecture. Rather, I hope it will give you the encouragement you need to start the new year with peace. Because you don’t need to start 2020 feeling discouraged, hopeless, or ashamed.
So. Christmas isn’t what you expected this year. Instead of feeling happy, you feel unexpectedly upset. You’re not the only one who is facing a challenge this Christmas.
As a young adult, Christmas isn’t the same. Entering the Christmas season means I’ll be forced to face all of the difficult things that I don’t want to face. Who knew Christmas could be so ugly? Why have I—and perhaps we—transformed a wonderful holiday into a dreadful time of year?
Maybe Thanksgiving is going to be especially hard this year. Perhaps you’re going through something really difficult and don’t feel like being thankful. But God’s unchanging nature and His promise to sustain the righteous are two reasons that we can—and should—still be thankful to Him. Even if you’re experiencing frequent life changes or facing adulthood, like me.
It's almost impossible to completely avoid Halloween. Even if you decide not to trick-or-treat, Halloween decorations, candy, and costumes will still exist. Here are a few ideas to turn an often-spooky holiday into a great ministry opportunity.