I remember back to the start of 1985. I was making a pro-con list for what I would do with my life when I graduated that May. It wasn’t clear which road I would take yet, but I felt confident that I could handle any path I chose. There would be challenges, but I welcomed them. It was just me, God, and opportunity.
Fast forward to this first week of 2021. I’m looking down the barrel of a large question mark. I’m weary from a year of pandemic and the paths before me look like a field of fog. Which way to go? Even my choices are unclear. Are you feeling it too? Are you tempted to bail? Tempted to just stand frozen in time? Tempted to run? I’m feeling all of these things.
There was a time in Jesus’ ministry when his followers were bailing and running because they didn’t understand what he was saying. They found Him hard to believe. They were confused. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” but Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
It can be so intensely overwhelming to want to run when life seems so stressful and unpredictable. Can I challenge you (and myself) to ask the question, “Where would I go, besides to Jesus?” Does this world hold out life for me?” Hiding, running, or even just waiting it out leaves us uninspired, lethargic, and timid. We need courage to live. Courage to stay in the struggle. Courage to walk forward into the uncertainty. I would even say courage to RUN into the uncertainty. An uncertainty to us at the moment, but an absolutely sure and fixed future, anchored by a Father who loves us infinitely, a Son who bought us eternity, and a Spirit who floods us with comfort and hope as we face all of it.
A recent song has been challenging me to run headlong into 2021.
I run to the Father
I fall into grace
I’m done with the hiding
No reason to wait
My heart needs a surgeon
My soul needs a friend
So I’ll run to the Father
Again and again
And again and again
Falling into grace is my goal at the beginning of this second year of Covid. Running and falling into a God who holds the words of eternal life. Be strong and courageous, friends. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go in 2021.