The Lord isn’t slow to fulfill his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to change their hearts and lives.2 Peter 3:9 CEB
The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons. However, depending on what event has personally touched your life, you may remember 2020 for a different reason than your next-door neighbour or your best friend.
A lot of people have posted about “Canceling 2020”. In other words, people are done. We want life to return to a sense of normalcy. We are creatures of habit, and this year has wrecked our sense of comfort and stability. All the things the world tells us to place our hope in are failing us (jobs, financial security, health, other people). In the midst of this change, we’ve shifted to survival mode and we’re experiencing the aftershocks of a “flight or flight” reaction.
Some want to cancel 2020 or flee from its reality, but I think 2020 is here to create change, which in this case, appears to be a fight against what was once known as “normal”.
As an athletic trainer, one of the skills I had to learn in my undergrad was “calm and reassure the patient.” This may sound crazy… but when you are interacting with an individual who has never experienced a catastrophic injury, you need to know how to respond. Let me tell you, we had some pretty amazing professors who took this skill seriously—they would pretend to be an athlete and act injured. Think rolling on the floor, yelling, and guarding whatever body part was “injured.” Their theatrics were impeccable.
These actions sound over-dramatic for a skill that appears to be simple. However, if the patient doesn’t calm down, the situation can escalate quickly. Conversely, if the health care provider has the patience to establish trust, enough to calm and reassure a patient, then they are able to perform an adequate evaluation and provide the appropriate care. An example of calming and reassuring a patient looks like the following: establish direct eye contact, instruct the patient (preferably by name) to focus on breathing, and breathe with them by stating the following: “Breathe in through your nose (inhale) and out through your mouth (exhale).” Once they are calm, you are able to reassure them that they are being taken care of.
How does this apply to Canceling vs Creating Change in 2020?
Finding physical peace in the middle of a catastrophic injury is very similar to finding spiritual peace in the midst of an invisible, yet very real spiritual battle. It comes when you place your trust in a patient provider who, for the sake of your good, instructs you to listen and obey.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to change their hearts and lives.2 Peter 3:9 CEB
2020 may not be the year you hoped for, but it’s not over. Instead of running away from the chaos, Jesus, the God man, was known for walking into the chaos and bringing peace. He is known as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He walked on water in the middle of strong winds and rough waves (Matthew 14). He calmed a storm by simply rebuking it with only His voice (Luke 8:24). At His word He can create something new (Ephesians 2:14-16) and bring hope to any hopeless situation (John 11). There was and is nothing beyond His control (Colossians 1:15-20), and that same power is alive today through His Spirit-filled followers (Romans 8:1-11).
Imagine how your fears could shrink, or even disappear, if you focused your attention on Jesus, genuinely listened to His voice calling you, and simply did what He said.
Is 2020 canceled? Or is it an opportunity to see God “change their hearts and lives” so big that only He could get the glory?