With the rising death count at McKinney Place and across our province, the alarming numbers south of the border and the staggering case counts and deaths globally, it's fair to say that Covid-19 has dominated our world in 2020. Add to this pandemic the injustice, violence and unrest we have witnessed, it is no wonder we are eager to put this year behind us. As we anticipate a New Year and pause and reflect on the year that has been, we have to work extra hard to identify the blessings that have been mingled with all of this sadness.
As we do just that, pause and reflect, to do as the hymnwriter exhorts, to count our blessings, there is much for which to give thanks. While many have lost their jobs and have struggled to make ends meet, because of the faithfulness of you, the people of Valley, my salary has not been affected and we have been able to meet all of our expenses and obligations. Janice as an essential worker has continued to work throughout the year, as have all of our kids. We have a roof over our heads, clothes on back and food on the table, the very things we should never take for granted.
In March we celebrated the arrival of our grandson, who we were able to visit prior to all the travel restrictions being put in place. We have know the grace and favor of our God as we have called out to Him when Scott was hospitialized with Covid. We have experienced the love and support of family and friends and in many ways the bond we have in Christ has been strengthened through all that has happened.
For many 2020 will go down as the year of Covid. For those of us who walk with God, this has been a year in which we have seen His great faithfulness, mercy and love. As we dwell on this truth, His Word reinforces just how blessed we have been.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)
He is the God who leads us to green pastures and still waters, who restores our our souls and renews our hope (Psalm 23:2-3; Isaiah 40:31). He is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1). The Lord watches over all who love him (Psalm 14:20).
Friends, for we who know God, who are in a covenant relationship with Him there is always a reason to give thanks, to praise our God for HIs abundant goodness. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says...in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
May you rest in the shadow of the Almighty as we journey together in 2021.
Happy New Year!