The year 2020 has brought with it more changes than any of us ever imagined. Schools have closed, toilet paper has been hoarded, masks have been mandated, and social media wars have ensued. One of the most difficult changes as been the reality of necessary quarantine. Many of us experienced quarantine in the early months of the year, and many of us live in fear of the next time illness will force us back into isolation. Those who live alone are particularly acquainted with the deafening silence that accompanies staying home in isolation. In one way or another all of us have seen loneliness woven into our lives in the year 2020.
“It is possible to accept and to endure loneliness without bitterness when there is a vision of glory beyond. This is a very different thing from the sigh of resignation or defeat, the hopeless abandonment to a malevolent fate which merely ‘sits there and takes it.’ In circumstances for which there is no final answer in the world, we have two choices: accept them as God’s wise and loving choice for our blessing (this is called faith), or resent them as proof of His indifference, His carelessness, even His nonexistence (this is unbelief). Finding fault with God is sharp temptation, especially when there is no one else to blame. Yielding to that temptation leads to spiritual emptiness” (Elliot 2001, 108)
Having a vision of glory beyond our present pain is hope. Biblical hope is not wishful thinking, but rather a confident expectation. Even if our difficult circumstances persist, we can fix our gaze on Jesus, knowing that every promise in the Word of God will come to pass. Through faith in Christ, our future is secured with him in the perfect eternity that awaits us. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1)
One day, the pain of 2020 will make sense, but in the meantime, we can trust our unknown future to God. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises” (Romans 15:13, AMP).
Julie Busler is married to Ryan, and together they have 5 children. She and her husband own Busler Media, where she is a photographer, and she is actively involved with the Women’s Ministry at Immanuel Baptist Church. She also serves as the Oklahoma president of WMU with the Oklahoma Baptists. She is currently writing a book on mental illness in the Christian and can be followed on Facebook, as well as @juliebusler on Instagram.