6. God can redeem anything if we let Him.
Yes, even a year like 2020! Redemption! It’s kind of God’s thing! It’s what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. He redeemed us from what we truly deserve. Jesus death on the cross when we accept Him is what bought us back from eternity in Hell. But what I truly love to see is when a person or a circumstance that we think is “too far gone” turns out not to be. I love to see the miracle of God redeeming a lost soul! It is one of my most favorite things that God does. It is truly miraculous to see! Like dry bones coming back to life!
One of my most favorite stories in the Bible is the prophecy of the Valley of the Dry Bones in Ezekiel. This is a vision of the resurrection of dry bones, but really it was the assurance to the captives in Babylon that they would return home.
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley, it was full of bones.” Ezekiel 37:1
The captives in Babylon thought they were too far gone and that they would never return home. The vision that God gave was Ezekiel being set down in a valley of dry bones. Have you ever been so weary from the things that life has thrown at you that you felt like just a bag of dry bones? This has been a weary strange year for all of us. I have seen fear in people’s eyes as we walk along. People don’t hug each other and they stand off from each other when they talk, if they even do in public. People aren’t gathering together and they are afraid. We are in a really sad time in history I think. But I also know the one who holds our future and just like He gave this vision to Ezekiel concerning the captives in Babylon, I believe He wants us to know that He can and that He will breathe life into our hurting world again.
“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered ‘O Lord God, you know’” Ezekiel 37:3
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.” Ezekiel 37:5
God can breathe life into any situation. Sometimes He is waiting on us to lay it down and sometimes He it is just His timing. But we can learn a lot from the valley of the dry bones. We can know that God is the only one who can breathe life into those too far gone situations. He loves to do that. He loves to show Himself big to us if we only ask Him. I have seen Him redeem life situations that I didn’t see how they would ever turn out for good. I am trusting Him to redeem 2020 for us so that we can stand back and say: “Look at God, won’t He just do it!
7. Sometimes receiving grace is harder than giving grace.
Grace was my 2020 word that God gave me. I wasn’t sure at the time what that would look like. I thought God was asking me to give grace to others more. What I realized is that God was also telling me to give more grace to myself. Grace that I can’t do it all, whatever IT is. Grace to allow myself to feel all the feelings but just not to let them control me. Grace to live in each moment. I love the concept of grace. Wikipedia says that “grace is the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it”. God gives grace to us every day, but do we live in the grace that God gives us every day? But I also think that receiving the grace that God gives us goes hand in hand with giving Grace to others. Bottom line is we never know what battle other people are fighting. When you are behind that grumpy person in the grocery store line and you think they are being rude and obnoxious, maybe they are just tired from a battle they are fighting in their own personal life.
“But he said to me. ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
We have all felt pretty helpless this year. But if you have been fighting a personal battle as well, you may feel pretty weary and beat up on. Turn to Jesus and ask Him to help you through. God does His best work when we feel most at the end of ourselves.