Life’s puzzle pieces
The year 2020 was a challenging year for many people. Thinking about a happy 2021 may seem like a far distant hope, and the thought could be that likely 2021 will be somewhat better. It is January, and there are yet 11 more months to go. It is like putting together a giant puzzle and wondering how the pieces will fit together and how those pieces will appear. That is how it is in an ever-changing, temporary, decaying world in which we live.
Spiritually, however, it can be different. Jesus Christ said in Hebrews 13:8 that He “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (English Standard Version). In the eternal realm, we have the opportunity to enjoy the safety, security and consistency of an unchanging Savior. Let’s take a moment to consider some spiritual pieces to the 2021 puzzle to lean on to bring an opportunity for a happier new year.
The first puzzle piece is stillness in God’s presence. Psalm 46:10, one psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God …” (English Standard Version). There is something about silence that brings a sense of the person of God. Recently, I went outside early one morning, and in the darkness, it was a perfect morning. The stillness was a reality that drew me to look up and want to be outside longer. In that quiet, my mind and heart drew me toward the presence of God.
The second puzzle piece is a thankful heart. It is easy to give in to our “entitled” nature. Thankfulness opens the door for humility and an awareness that it is alright to face obstacles we may have. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “ Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (English Standard Version). Yes, God has a will for each of His children, and He is carrying that out, even in difficult times. I have encouraged people to view thanksgiving as something we say when we receive something from someone. We have a spirit and attitude of thanksgiving. We can give thanks to God for all things because we are in Christ, and God is perfecting His will and character in us through the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
A third puzzle piece directing us toward a happier new year aims for God’s glory in all we do. That speaks toward our motivation. When we are attempting to solely please people or make ourselves happy, we become unfulfilled in the long run of our lives. But in 1 Corinthians 10:31, we read, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (English Standard Version). When seeking to glorify God in all we do, eat or drink, we are enabled to experience an exceptional level of satisfaction and the presence of God. As a person who thrives on results, I quickly get distracted when the results are not quite what I envisioned. But when my actions’ motivation is God’s glory, life is more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Continuing our journey into this new year of 2021, we need the pieces of stillness in God’s presence, thankfulness in life’s circumstances, and the pursuit of God’s glory to permeate our lives. He will be with us and enable us to live more fully and deeply in Him.
Pastor Robert B. Litzenberger III
Brady Community Church