January, 2021 – ‘Follow Me’ – in 2021

January, 2021 – ‘Follow Me’ – in 2021

2020 is gone.  It is over.  Never were people so happy to kick a year to the curb.  It was the ‘year that was’!  I heard Charles Swindoll say recently, “Other than the normal difficulties a year can bring, Covid-19 ignited a powder keg of emotions that exploded one by one – like walking through a mine field of troubling issues”.  The pandemic seemed to heighten any problem one could have had.  But, 2020 is over.  It is gone!

I say – “Thank.  You.  God.  Thank You for holding onto me so tightly – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Thank You for being ‘a light to my path and a lamp to my feet’ in a very upside-down, inside-out, backwards, sideways year.  Thank You for giving me time – more time to spend with You to worship You, to draw closer to You, to hear You so much more clearly, to fall deeper in love with You, to have only You to lean on – to draw my strength from, to see some people as I had never seen them before – and learn to love and appreciate them for who they are . . .”    I could go on and on but – Thank. You. God. for visiting me (Me!) to shower your attention on and to grow me in such a terribly trying time.  I could go on with such gratitude to my Creator, Savior, Sustainer, but it would take a book – and not just this very short article for Love From Above’s ‘Sharing’.

No doubt, there were challenging and painful times as a result of the pandemic.  Surgery and other medical appointments cancelled – churches cancelled for months – other gatherings cancelled – no hugging friends and family (I’m a hugger!!) – no eating out for the most part – traveling, crimped – the constant barrage of trying to instill fear through the media – so many fabricated and untruths by those who should know better – unfounded information put out daily, only to be flip-flopped the next day . . .   It has been a time like none other in my life-time – and in most of yours, too, I’m sure.

Personally, for me, the most difficult times were having to leave my beloved Romania in March, 2020 on an emergency basis not knowing when or if I would ever be able to return.  Being away from my babies and precious ‘kids at the two orphanages has been more than painful.  Not being able to hold the 20th Anniversary celebration of Love From Above Ministries in October, 2020 due to travel restrictions and Massachusetts’ limitations on the number of people we could have in attendance.

Not being with my family for the holidays was a great disappointment – and now, especially, not seeing my grandchildren in over a year. But! – our God never leaves a vacuum in our lives.  Besides all I mentioned above that He worked in my life during the still on-going pandemic, He also gave me more opportunities to share Him – the love of Jesus – with so many more than ever.  And that would be folks approaching me about His love.  Amazing!  I don’t know if Covid made people more aware of their future, or of eternity and what it holds for them, but I have loved being our Lord’s messenger – certainly ‘being instant in season and out of season’.  I have, also, loved reassuring different ones, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world”. – John 16.33   And with all the evil that surrounded much of the goings-on of 2020, as followers of Christ, we know “greater is He Who is in you than he who is in the world”. – I John 4.4   My go-to verse, Psalm 18.2, when my boys were young and there was trouble of one sort or another brewing, still holds.

Thirteen times in the Gospels, Jesus said, “Follow Me”.  My prayer in the New Year for those who had no hope for their eternal future in 2020 is that they won’t put off embracing the One Who simply said, “Follow Me”.