Jill Jarrell Newsome
If 2020 was a drink what would it be? A colonoscopy prep! If 2020 was a bag of chips the flavor would be toothpaste and orange juice. Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November, all the rest have 31, except for March which was infinite. These were a few of the 2020 jokes. While it was bad, I am still amazed at the good that came out of 2020! We have to look for the blessings and sometimes we do not see them immediately. My 28 year old daughter lives in Portland, Oregon and I have questioned why there, why 3000 miles away? I believe God had that masters degree program accept her because of several doctors there. Also, while there, she became very ill and unable to get out of bed. A naturopathic doctor diagnosed her with Lyme disease after being misdiagnosed 14 times. She is doing very well and I continue to see many blessings which were hard for me to see or focus on! It always comes back to trusting God, even with our loved ones! He loves them even more than we do! She is moving back at the end of February! Jeremiah 29: 11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Do you trust God with your burdens and your loved ones? Sometimes it is so hard to trust He loves those that are precious to us even more than we do!
I often think about the many times God has protected me! I am sure I could never count them all. Then I think about all of the times that He has protected me and I did not even know it! He is always with us, even when we are unaware of it. I ask God for wisdom since I cannot see the bigger picture. I also ask Him to help me see the blessings along the way. It helps us see part of God's overall purpose and plan. 1 Thessalonians 5: 18, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." This will give us the peace that passes all understanding. And remember James 1: 12, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." We can rejoice in the midst of trials because the battle has already been won.
I love Isaiah 45: 3, "I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." God knows everything that is going on in our life. Let's look for the blessings and ask Him to bring them to our attention. The Psalmist tells of God's hidden blessings even when we do not realize it. Psalm 71; 15, "My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all." Despite grief over his son, Jacob held to God’s promises, not knowing he was alive and in God's care. David sang of God’s faithfulness, despite King Saul’s jealous pursuit. He could not imagine how God would fulfill his promise to make him king. Paul praised God through hymns while in prison. He could have never imagined an earthquake that would open those prison doors! It always comes back to trust! Faith is trusting God even when we don't understand His plan.
"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise." Oscar Wilde