What type of person are you in regards to Christmas decor cleanup ?
As soon as the last present is open, do you start cleaning?
When the last guest leaves, do you pull out the containers to store the Christmas items?
This year, did you wait until the weekend was over and enjoy one last weekend with the lights and the tree?
Maybe some of you are waiting until after the New Year?
Or are you a person who asks, “What? People don’t keep their Christmas cheer up all year long? Christmas should at least go through the summer!”
I find it so interesting that according to our various personalities, gifts and wiring, we all have different ways of cleaning and organizing as we move out of the Christmas season and into the New Year.
Yes, a NEW YEAR!! We need 2020 to leave and 2021 to help us feel refreshed again. There is something new and refreshing about a title … a subscription renewed ... 2021.
I saw a meme the other day that said, “I am not staying up to welcome 2021. I am staying up to make sure 2020 leaves.“ Such a good point, and it made me laugh.
There is a feeling of positive anticipation in the air about 2021. I love that most of us can agree on this.
Let’s kick the New Year’s resolutions and “Your” word of the year out the door. Here’s another idea - As we step out into this new year, let’s decide what to take *from* 2020 and what to *leave.* It might take some time to think through, but ponder it. What good can you take from 2020, and what yuck can you leave without looking back.
Speaking of looking back, this reminds me of the story of Lot and his family in Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord’s angels told Lot to leave this detestable, nasty city, and do four things. The Lord was going to spare Lot’s family. God was going to destroy this deplorable city, but He was going to show mercy to Lot and his family. In Genesis 19, an angel comes to Lot, his wife and daughters and says four things:
Flee for your lives!
Don’t look back.
Don’t stop anywhere in the plain!
Flee to the mountains, or you will be swept away!
They travel all night without stopping and arrive at Zoar (which literally means “a small town”). Then, the Lord starts to work. Genesis 19:23-25 tells it well ... “By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus, he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.”
The next verse says, “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” That’s all it took. One glance back. One look over the shoulder. One time! Get this - The same chemical element that God used to destroy that shameful city was also used on Lot’s wife to punish her - The irony! We can surmise so many reasons why she looked back - her friends, her home, her life she had there with other family members, etc., but what she did not think about was what God had in store ahead of her. God would spare their life and have them flee with four stipulations, but she did not take to heart or heed His warning of “Do. Not. Look. Back.”
God had something so much better in store for Lot’s wife and her daughters. Did she know this? Did she believe this? When you read parts of Genesis, you will quickly discover how faithful God is to His people. God allowing them to make it to Zoar before he starts his destruction, is a demonstration of His mercy.
Don’t let 2021 be a year where you are looking back to 2020. Don’t let your heart turn to a pillar of salt. Look forward, and know that God has something great for you this year.
Let 2021 be the year where you take a thing or two from 2020, learn from it, and move on. For some, it will be a tough struggle. Psalm 20:7-9 reminds us, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!”
J. Wallace Hamilton said, “Our modern age is a pushover for the shallow and the shortcuts. We want to change everything except the human heart.”
Let’s be women who are willing to allow God to change our hearts. Remember the only person who can change a heart, is God. Newsflash - you have no control over that!
He wants you to come to Him with your hurts, hangups and hangovers (something that has survived from the past). He wants to heal, renew and restore your heart.
So as we move into 2021, what are you leaving (self doubt, negativity, stuff, noise), and what are you taking with you from 2020?
Remember that God is not a God of disorder, but one of peace (1 Cor 14:33.), and be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Live in 2021 testifying to the same thing John did in Revelation 22:20-21, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
2021 is the year to be mindful.
2021 is the year to be positive.
2021 is the year with less stuff.
2021 is your year to equip yourself with God’s armor so that when things come up again, you are ready.
You are armed.
You can do it.
We hope you enjoy listening to our Noisy Narrative podcast as you hear three different friends talk about a trip to the city dump, Jesus coming back soon, what they are going to leave behind in 2020, and what they will move forward with in 2021. We don’t need backpacks for what Amy is going to bring with her.