Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
No year in my lifetime has been welcomed more than 2021. Multiple vaccines have been approved with the promise that we will be able to put the COVID-19 threat behind us by mid-summer. Businesses are making plans to gear up for the recovery. Jobs are expected to return. By fall, we should be able to pack our stadiums and cheer on our favorite sports teams. Once again, we can travel. Family vacations, reunions and gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas should return to normal by year’s end.
A year ago, in this column, I wrote, “2020 rings with the hope of perfect vision and a perfect year. But we already know it will have its challenges. … 2020 will not be easy. It certainly will not be perfect.”
To say that “2020 would not be easy and that it certainly would not be perfect” proved to be a vast understatement. None of us could have predicted the pandemic that would shock and stun the world. This has been an unusually difficult year. While some have prospered, many have lost their jobs, struggled with isolation and separation from family and friends. Restaurants, the travel industry, and live entertainment have especially been hit hard. More than 340,000 have died of COVID-19 related causes.
We still have a long way to go. The earliest vaccines are just now being administered, but we are hopeful. We have not given up. People remain resilient, perseverant, ready to pitch in and help those who need assistance the most. Restaurants, struggling under the restrictions of the pandemic have provided meals to frontline workers.
Doctors, nurses and medical staff have served sacrificially putting themselves at risk to care for COVID-19 patients. Like so many others, our daughter-in-law is a nurse and a breast cancer survivor. She suffered severe symptoms after contracting COVID-19 from her patients. Once recovered, she has returned to continue her care. Our son-in-law has volunteered as a bone-marrow donor for someone struggling with leukemia. We are proud of our kids and the millions of others who continue to put the interest of others before their own during these trying times.
Jesus was clear that every generation would have such trials. He warned of wars and rumors of wars, plagues, famines and natural disasters. Jesus said, “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).
God has promised, “I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. His books are available at www.tinsleycenter.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.