Andrew Schroer writes a faith column for the Victoria Advocate.

I think most people are glad to see 2020 go. It’s been a rough year. Nearly 80 million people worldwide contracted COVID-19. Over 1.7 million died from it. Our economy faltered. Businesses shuttered. Protests over racial equality and police brutality raged. Statues crumbled. Partisan politics tore our country in two. Social media melted as people argued about masks and vaccines.

Oh, and don’t forget the killer hornets.

They say hindsight is 20/20 because time gives us perspective. When you are in the middle of the storm, it is hard to see things clearly. The future is always a blur. But when we look back, we can usually see more clearly what actually happened.

What happened in 2020 is only now becoming clear. Yes, for many of us, it was a difficult year. Yet God got us through. The overwhelming majority of people who got sick recovered. Though money has become tight, we still have food to eat, clothes to wear and a place to sleep. Though our country is still divided politically, racially and morally, we still live in one of the freest and richest countries in the world.

Even those of us who lost loved ones this year have the peace of knowing that all who die in Christ live with him forever in the happiness of heaven. No matter what happened in 2020 or will happen in 2021, we have the family reunion of heaven waiting for us through faith in Jesus.

The year 2020 is a testament to God’s amazing grace, wisdom and power. Though there were struggles, God blessed me personally this last year. He blessed my family. He blessed my church. He blessed you in many ways.

If you look closely, you can see those blessings. Take some time this week to think about the good things that happened to you this year. Look closely. See his blessings. See how he got you through the struggles.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Then trust that God will continue to watch over you and bless you this year. Exactly one year ago, I wrote, “We cannot see what 2020 will bring.” I had no idea. I don’t think anybody did.

Now I once again have to write, “We cannot see what 2021 will bring.”

The pandemic probably won’t disappear right away. The debates about masks and vaccines will most likely continue to rage. Partisan politics are here to stay. Could there be another pandemic? War? Recession? What lies ahead for each of us in our families and personal lives?

I don’t know. What I do know is that God’s promises do not change from year to year (James 1:17). Our God will continue to watch over us, protect us and make all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). He will continue to forgive us because of Jesus. He will continue to take all those who die in the faith to be with him in the perfection of heaven.

The year 2020 is now in the rearview mirror. We cannot yet see what lies ahead in 2021. But holding firmly to God’s precious promises, we can look ahead to an unknown future without fear.

Holding to his promises, we can sing with the hymn writer: “Oh God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, still be our guard while troubles last and our eternal home!”

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Pastor Andrew Schroer has been a pastor for nearly 20 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church with campuses in Edna and Victoria, Texas. Read more of his devotional writing and contact him at 364DaysofThanksgiving.com.

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