2020: Reflecting on a year like no other and our thanksgiving perspective

2020

Not many people will agree that the Year 2020 carried the toga of a beautiful year. It was not only a year of horror; it was a year many considered as the crescendo of everything evil.

It was the culmination of darkness in the most recent times in human history. Nobody prays for such a year again.

As I write, many are still counting their losses. Many lost loved ones. Some lost properties. Some lost their health. Some lost precious relationships. Some lost their jobs and businesses.

What could be worse than the Year 2020? It was indeed a year like no other for this generation. As we count our losses and bemoan the dire situation, we find ourselves in, it’s important we reflect. It’s good we look again at the Year 2020 and ask ourselves; can we say without blinking an eye, that the year was all about evil and horror?

Can we pause and reflect again about the Year 2020? Yes, we lost loved ones. We lost properties. We lost our health. We lost our jobs. Yet, was it a year of horror in the sense that we don’t have cause to praise God?

Definitely not. There are a thousand and one reasons to praise God. We praise Him for who He is. We praise Him for saving our souls from perdition. We praise him for sparing our lives. We praise Him for the good and beautiful things He brings our way.

Perhaps the major thrust of our thanksgiving is that we are alive and kicking. It comes easy in our devotion and in public prayers. We do it with so much gusto, with the air of being the beloved of God.

The way we thank God for being alive sometimes put those who are dead in a bad light. It’s common to hear, “some have died but we are alive, glory be to God”.

What is worrisome in making such statement is that we put the dead in a bad light. By demonising death, it makes it look as if those who died are doomed even if they knew God before they died. We talk about a beautiful life hereafter, but we make those who go ahead of us into this life look unfortunate.

But death is nothing to be scared of, for the true believer. As a matter of fact, death should be gain for the believer. Paul stated in Philippians 1v21 that “for me to live is Christ to die is gain”. The implication is that death for the believer is a plus.

While it’s important we thank God for being alive, it’s good we also thank God for those who have died especially when we know they died in the Lord. Death is not a crime and we will all go one day. So why make it look as if death is evil?

Rather than dissipate so much spiritual energy on trying to stop death from coming or wondering how death would come, we should spend our energy loving God and discovering more of His will for our lives. If we die doing His will, so be it. But let no man despair of death.

So, for those who have passed on in the Year 2020, we still have cause to thank God for them especially those who knew the Lord before they passed on. While we are thanking God for sparing our lives, we must not lose sight of the reason for living. God did not spare us to fill up space. He spared us for a purpose and whenever our time is up, we will also join the saints.

For now, we need to thank God for the Year 2020. In 2020 God exposed the limitation of man. He demystified some nations of the world and humbled the power brokers. Those who thought they had the world in their palms became vulnerable for once.

Who would have thought for instance that a virus would demystify Europe and the US? Who would have thought the entire globe will be on lockdown.

If there is one thing to cheer about in the year 2020, it is that it has helped to put man where he belongs. Man has come to terms with himself. At best we are pencils in the hands of God. He can dispense with us at any time. But amazingly, he places so much premium on us and seeks to save us and deliver us from our foolishness.

The year 2020 also turned out to be a year of great opportunity and unique innovations. The lockdown period, rather than lock many down caused them to reinvent the wheel.

Many made more money than ever during this period by deploying technology to greater use. The Church expanded more because it took advantage of technology to reach people with the good news. Many began to see the usefulness of the internet and they took advantage of it.

The lockdown helped to expose the antics of fake prophets. Did you notice that you don’t have to engage in those spiritual gymnastics that have no Bible basis they subjected you to before the lockdown, yet, the heavens were not closed against you?

The lockdown period also liberalised the space and threw the Church to the world. Rather than being limited by the Church walls, we are encouraged to carry the light everywhere we go. For about four months that people remained in their locality, they had the golden opportunity of shinning the light where they were.

In thanking God, however, we should be careful not to demonise those who were victims of the pandemic and those who lost properties and lives to the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria. There is really no basis for that. The idea of starting our testimonies by referring to those that are less fortunate than us does not glorify God.

It is in fact casting God in a bad light and making us look as if we are super-human and special. We are in no way special. It is just that God in His master plan for humanity has different roles for different folks. Tragedies don’t glorify God. But God has a way of turning tragic situations into triumphs for us.

We must however appreciate that we are differently wired and designed to play specific roles in life. When our assignments are done, we will have no reason to wait a minute longer here on earth.

But as we continue in the attitude of thanksgiving, let us thank God that He is God over our lives. He is the maker of the universe. He has got our backs and His thoughts for us are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us an expected end.

We should thank God that we know him. That should be one of the highpoints of our praise. Knowing God is more than gold. It is more than the worldly acquisition. It is more than any other thing we can ever imagine.

We should thank God for the sacrifice of His Son on the cross of Calvary. Jesus paid the supreme price for our sins and reconciled us with the Father. This is worth a lifetime of praise.

What more?  we should thank him for healing our diseases, forgiving our sins, and loading us with the good things of life. As we roll on in the year 2021, we should stay positive and stay hopeful. Whatever may come our way, thanksgiving will not cease from our lips.

Gbenga Osinaike

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