I wasn’t a fighter in my Secondary school days. When I say that I wasn’t a fighter, I don’t think it was so much down to the morality of not fighting- I think I was just a bit too scared that I’ll be terribly beaten. Some people say that they can’t fight, meaning that they’re too noble to fight; others say it and mean that they lack the skill to do it. I was sure in the latter category.
I had a classmate though. Dude would go all around forming ‘street fighter’. I particularly remember one day he got in a fight and took a nasty punch on his mouth to the point that it got swollen.
Dude was busy arguing that he won the fight. Imagine how hilarious a sight it was- speaking about your victory after a fight, with your mouth swollen.
I mean, he really didn’t have the mouth to say that he won. Literally.
It would have been a lot more presentable to claim victory if the punch was in his stomach. He could stomach the pain. Literally.
You know what I’m finding out is that we all get hit- it’s really more a question of where we’re allowing life to hit us and what the pain is making us.
I imagine that 2020 would have hit you in some way or the other- hit on your plans, hit on your relationships, hit on your confidence, hit on your business, hit on your family, and so on.
But where did the punches land on you? Better put, where do the punches land you?
I’ll tell you how this works.
In the intensity of a pain filled moment on the cross, Jesus cried out asking God to keep his spirit:
‘Into your hands I commit my spirit’. (Luke 23:46)
I can’t get over that! I don’t want the pain and the hits to make me lose my spirit. There’s a sweet, passionate, faith-filled, purposeful, hopeful, expectant and believing spirit that I don’t want any punch to ever take away from me.
Are the heavy punches of 2020 making you lose your Christian spirit?
Even if plans in 2020 got disappointed, don’t you dare start the next year hopeless or with no expectation. The subject of hope for the Christian is anchored on who Jesus is to us, not in statistics that demonstrate that plans come true.
You see, what’s more than making it out of 2020 is how you make it out. Are you speaking about the next year with a wounded heart, with darkened vision, and with cut short expectations?
Don’t get me wrong- truth be told, there isn’t much about the upcoming year to feel excited about. There’s too much pandemic uncertainty, there’s danger and depression constantly knocking at your door.
For the good of your life, stop trying hard in yourself to be excited about 2021.
Hear me well: God doesn’t call you to be positive. God calls you to look to Jesus. That’s what it means to be a Christian. In Jesus is light that overcomes darkness, a promise that is far greater than pain, a peace that is inexplicably beyond panic, a constant and certain hope that is beyond the performance of any system of this world, and a strength and joy custom-made for every day you’ll face . It’s about looking to Jesus, not raising your expectations on a year.
Jesus won’t leave you with a negative spirit. No way! We belong to a thriving, victorious Kingdom! Even the player who missed his penalty kick during the shoot out still celebrates when his team eventually wins the final. The Kingdom you belong to weighs more than your mistakes, failures and inabilities. When a Christian speaks, our breath should smell like a ‘can-do’ spirit, not a negative vibe.
Jesus won’t leave you sitting in a feeling of helplessness. Have all your failed plans of 2020 and uncertainties taught you to feel more helpless about life or to be more trusting in a God who is all-able?
Jesus won’t leave you running in desperation. I believe He will vibe your spirit with urgency, but not with desperation. No, we’re not behind time in God’s plan. We are right on time! We are right in place. ASUU has not roasted your life like Asun. The government has not wrecked your destiny. We serve a God who still knows the plans that He thinks towards us, and assures us that they are thoughts of good. (Jeremiah 29:11). God still supplies needs according to His riches in glory, not according to the world economy. I believe we must have that urgency to live every day on the front foot, but not a helpless desperation.
You know, when Joseph was going in to meet Pharaoh straight out of the prison, he didn’t just carry the prison vibe into the Pharaoh season of his life. I think it’s really symbolic that the Bible says he shaved and changed his clothes and all that (Genesis 41:14).
Don’t carry all those 2020 negativity stamps into a new God-season.
Shave and change your clothes.
God wants us to look more like Christians than 2020 escapees. Better put, God wants you to look more like Jesus than someone that escaped 2020.
He wants you to be full of a sweet spirit, of faith and love, of hope and passion, of intensity and purpose.
The reality is that sometimes we get wounded in the brawls. Maybe you feel like your spirit is deeply wounded. I believe that if we allow Him, Jesus is willing to heal us and restore His beauty in us.
If there’ll be blood stains dripping over your 2021, don’t let it be the pain-filled blood of the wounds 2020 hit you with. Let it be the grace-filled blood of Jesus that speaks His love and beauty over your life.
My thoughts and prayers for a blessed new year!