That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! II Corinthians 4:17-18
Yes, the year 2020 has, let us say, “not been a good year”. There have been other perilous times in which we have lived. Many others. In my own lifetime, I think back to the famous year of 1968. We didn’t think that year would ever end either. There were uprisings in major cites around the world, including Paris and Prague, as well as nearly every American city at one time or another through the year. Worldwide Communism was in its death throes, but we did not know that yet. In its last quarter century of existence, the USSR seemed formidable and frightening.
The war in Vietnam was only worsening, and for me, it was very close to calling my name. The TET offensive, a huge tactical loss for the Viet Cong, became their largest strategic victory. Walter Cronkite said so.
Martin Luther King was assassinated in April, 1968, followed by Senator Bobby Kennedy in June on my high school graduation day. The Democratic Convention in Chicago that year was a bloodbath in the streets, with demonstrators being clubbed and jailed. It took away any excitement which may have been going on inside the convention itself. President Johnson, in late March of the year, had pulled himself out of the November race for President. Not only had he had enough, he knew he could not be re-elected. George Wallace, an avowed racist governor of Alabama, was running as a third-party candidate. The nation was divided like many had not seen since the Civil War.
At the Mexico City Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists on the medal platform, igniting a storm of controversy and backlash never before seen on the world-wide sports front.
In short, 1968 seemed like the year that the world would explode, and in some ways, it did. The current year 2020- well, I need not tell you its woes, and we are only a bit over halfway through.
The writer Paul in the book of Corinthians cautioned his people, who were undergoing serious persecution, that even though the current events were pretty terrible, our spirits are being renewed every day.
So, let’s keep in mind that crises come and go. We don’t like them, they cause pain, suffering, even death to some. However, in the long run, it is a spirit building event, as long as we do not lose sight of it.
Prayer: Father, this year has been so painful to so many. We trust that you have this in hand, and that it can be an opportunity for us to grow in spirit, Amen.