Jill Jarrell Newsome
You have probably heard the song, "Hallelujah Christmas" by Cloverton. The song goes through Jesus' life from birth, life, death and resurrection. After each verse they sing,"Hallelujah," which means, "praise the Lord!" The last verse is, "I know You came to rescue me - This baby boy would grow to be - A man and one day die for me and you - My sins would drive the nails in You - That rugged cross was my cross, too - Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah - Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah - Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah."
All during this pandemic I have tried to thank God for the hard times because that is when we grow. But it is hard! Yet, when I sit and list my blessings I see there have been plenty. Some were hidden and I believe we will not realize some until later. But we need to learn from Jesus. "Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah." Jesus praised God and He knew the ending of the story. We are to praise God in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Although 2020 and 2021 were terrible in so many ways I see it as a revival to many. For me, I have a deeper trust in God. I have had to remind myself daily that He is in control no matter how crazy this world gets. When you think it can't get any crazier, it does! But I say out loud, "I trust You, God!" And that settles my soul. When I believe that God is in charge then it is well with my soul! Psalm 84: 4, "Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you."
I can think of other things I am thankful for from 2021. My daughter moved home from Portland, Oregon, 3000 miles away. Our family went through several surgeries and they all ended well. God performed many miracles on Sarah during her surgery and after. We lost a dear family friend but know that he is in the presence of God for all eternity. I do not take worshiping in my church for granted any more. I also do not take singing, with my church family, for granted any more! I know I have grown in Christ this year. And who knows what other blessings will come about? 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
“If a tiny virus can do this much damage…imagine what a mustard seed of faith can do…”