Andrew Schroer writes a faith column for the Victoria Advocate.

If you ask people on the street what they are most thankful for this year, I am guessing that a large percentage would say they are thankful that the year 2020 is almost over.

This year has been topsy-turvy. From pandemics to politics, killer hornets to racial strife, hurricanes to wildfires — 2020 has seen a bit of everything. People are just done. We are sick and tired of politics. We are sick and tired of masks. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

And the end is in sight. Only one more month and 2020 will be in the rearview mirror. Hindsight will literally be 2020.

But before we bid adieu to the year 2020 — before we rush through our Thanksgiving celebrations this week — let’s take a closer look at this year which we are so thankful is drawing to a close.

Yes, this year has had its struggles. The isolation and fear brought on by the pandemic has been palpable. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have died of COVID. Many were forced to die alone. The deep political, ideological and even racial divide in our country became even more pronounced. With each new struggle, we found ourselves asking, “What else can go wrong?”

The problem is that when we throw up our arms in frustration and ask, “What else can go wrong?” we unwittingly close our eyes to what is going right. Though we have struggled with a worldwide pandemic, most of us are relatively healthy. Though the economy has faltered and businesses have shuttered, you and I have had food to eat and clothes to wear every single day this year. Though our nation was bitterly divided by political and racial tensions, we still live in the richest, most powerful and freest country in the world.

Our fellow Christians who died this year — even the ones who died of COVID or died alone — are now enjoying the peace and perfection of heaven. Because of the pandemic, God blessed us this year with more time to spend with our families. Because of the pandemic, our churches have learned to be more technologically savvy and now the good news of God’s love is being shared with even more people.

Look at your life. Look at your home. Look at your family.

God has blessed us richly in 2020. We haven’t merely survived this year. We’ve thrived.

Then you add the intangible blessings we cannot see: God’s forgiveness and presence in our lives, his promise that all things — even COVID-19 — will work together for our good and our home in heaven which is waiting for us.

As the psalm-writer wrote, our cups “runneth over.”

So as you eat your turkey this week and as you watch 2020 quickly wind down, don’t simply be thankful that 2020 is almost over.

Look at all that God has given you.

Look at all he has done for you this year and thank God for 2020.

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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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Penny Luksa

Amen this article made me really stop and think!! I have been so depressed..and this article gave a little more faith and hope.Thank You We do have a awesome God!!!

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