“You never know what’s around the bend,” I heard my sister say as we took twists and turns throughout the glorious Smoky Mountains.
On our most recent family vacation, each turn led us to behold new sights of the Lord’s handiwork. Some glances further proved the majesty of our Lord, showing how mighty He is through sculpted mountains. Other, more subtle views, such as rushing streams crashing into picturesque river rocks, reminded me of the peace He provides.
While each view left me more and more in awe of the magnificent Creator I serve, my sister’s statement forced me to recall all this year has brought. Vivid flashes of 2020 swirled within my brain. The pandemic, elections, hopelessness, hurting, and death quickly resurged in my memory as I recalled everything that has happened. But on the night of December 31, 2019, each of us went to bed expecting to awaken to a new year – not truly knowing what was coming.
As the year progressed, the world began to show its true colors. Chaos and calamity started to strike in different forms. Even today, we’re still unsure of what the last few days of December will bring!
Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew how 2021 would be? Wouldn’t it be nice if we got to methodically plan out every event that we wanted to happen and make it happen without a blink of an eye?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what was around every bend?
Because, after all, if we could pick and choose what happens in our lives, wouldn’t we forgo all of the trials and tribulations? Of course! We would be in control.
But we’re not.
We often don’t plan for the bad. It’s considered bad for our mental health to dwell on the potential what-ifs and negativity that could happen. So, it’s easier to let the wind get knocked out of us when it does happen.
I don’t particularly enjoy challenging seasons in life, but I do enjoy looking back at what I’ve overcome and knowing that without His help, I would still be trapped in my old ways. Through His grace and mercy, I have the potential to continue growing and fulfill His plan for my life.
And so do you.
On our mountainous drive, I couldn’t help but recall the Christmas story. Maybe just the season, but my eyes quickly swelled with tears as I pictured the baby that was to be King.
He knew what was coming. But He answered His Father’s call to come to earth and suffer for those He loved most.
The story of Jesus’s birth, much like 2020, wasn’t perfect. The King of the universe was sent to be born of a virgin, in a stall, and placed in a feeding trough.
He knew He would be loved, hated, murdered, and sent back to His Father after His job was done. But His job was to save the souls of hurtful men and women.
He did it anyway.
This year has been difficult, but it has also been glorious trusting in the Maker of the universe. He knows. He cares. He has a plan. As we travel into 2021, let our hearts be joyous as we seek the plans of the One who is forever enthroned. Regardless of what happens, He is the only One who knows what’s coming around the bend.
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land, Psalm 95:1-5.