Occasionally it is important to celebrate. Celebration opens our eyes to the good things that have taken place in our lives. We celebrate anniversaries. We celebrate birthdays. We celebrate holidays. We also need to celebrate life. Too often and too much, life is viewed as a downer, gloomy and dark. We talk and talk about all the bad things going on. All that we hear is how bad things are and how they are getting worse. Well, did we expect heaven on earth? Of course life under the sun is mixed and often gloomy. Sin, sickness, disease, and death are prevalent. And that is just what the prince of the power of the air wants us to focus on. But in Christ there is nothing but celebration. When the work of the world and its worries have worn us out, we need to be revitalized. The honest-to-goodness joy that bubbles up from worthwhile celebration is one of life’s treasures.
Think about that. In Christ there is not one bad thing. All that we have in Him is worthy of celebration. When we celebrate, we grow in character by honoring something outside of ourselves. The act of honoring lifts us above the ordinary and refreshes our outlook. Friendships are strengthened, families are enriched, and our perspective is broadened. In Christ, we have those fresh eyes that help us see all that is worthy of celebrating.
Look up with me for just a little while. Let’s celebrate for a minute.
First, celebrate that these trials of this year are not permanent. They may be trying, but they are not what our life is about. Our eyes are focused on the Lord. Even in the pain and hardship of this year, we can see His handiwork. We have been reminded that our faith in God and our relationship with Him is what life is really about.
Second, celebrate that we have learned we are more resourceful than we might have imagined. Look at the inventive ways people have used to try to stay connected. Zoom has provided an opportunity for us to stay in touch and see each other while we talk to one another. There is no substitute for face to face, person to person, contact, but at least we could see the person we were talking to. If reports come true, look how brilliant our medical community is. There is now a vaccine. Human ingenuity is amazing!
Third, let’s celebrate that we learned we are stronger than we might have thought. Resiliency is an admirable trait of mankind. Ability to adjust and keep living is wonderful. We learned where our strength really lies. We learned we can be strong enough to endure. We celebrate that through the trials come patience and maturity (Jas. 1:2-4). Inconvenience does not change our faith in God. God has provided the strength to live and rise above all that has happened this year.
I am so sorry for those who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. I am sorry for those who have lost loved ones as a result of being infected. I am sorry for those whose faith weakened and turned away from God. I am sorry for those whose daily lives have been stymied because of greater risk.
But, with all that, I celebrate this year because this year we have had the opportunity to grow closer to God and closer to one another. And that those who have lost their lives have the opportunity to realize their hope and see the face of God.