Last night my family decided to build and decorate a gingerbread house. Let me rephrase that, we decided to decorate a gingerbread house! In years past we have bought the kits that you have to put together. They usually end up a disaster. The moment you put the first candy on the roof, the whole thing collapses. It can be frustrating. You have to put more frosting on to keep it together, which only makes it looks worse. The more we tried, the more we failed! Seems like 2020! This year, we bought a pre-made kit. It’s the way to go!
I don’t know about you, but I sure hope 2021 looks a little more like the pre-made gingerbread house! But as we near Christmas and New Years, it becomes more and more real to me that everything “2020,” is not going to just disappear. There isn’t going to be a reset button pushed when the clock strikes midnight. For all intents and purposes, 2020 has almost become a curse word! It feels like Psalm 77:10, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” I guess this is the way it is going to be.
I won’t take you down memory lane, but when all this started, I saw so many saying things like, “I can’t wait for this year to be over!” I did to. And I’m sure you did as well. There can be many reasons for you to have had a difficult year. I don’t want to be dismissive of any of it. But, here we are. For better or worse the year is about to be over, but “2020” isn’t. What do we do and how do we live heading into 2021? My advice: “walk into the house.” Let me explain.
You are all very familiar with the story of the prodigal son. I like to say that they are both prodigals to a certain extent. If you have not read this parable Jesus shared, you can find it starting in Luke 15:11. The quick version is that the younger demands his inheritance, and squanders it. He realizes that home wasn’t so bad. He returns and his father throws a party! The older son has been busy working in the fields. When he returns for the day, he hears commotion at the house. Instead of going in, he pulls his servant aside and asks what is going on. In verse 28 it says, “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.”
I get the frustration on his end. I’ve been there. Here is the problem that I have found in my own life. If you aren’t checking your attitude as the faithful, you will become the prodigal. So why doesn’t he walk into the house?
He doesn’t trust the father. And quite honestly, neither do we. Trust only comes from proximity and knowledge. Therefore, we have a warped perspective of our Father. We end up serving something or someone other than God.
Let me say it this way:
Is God good?
Is He faithful?
Does He want what’s best for you?
Does He always care?
Does He know you?
Does He know what you need?
Does He love you?
If you answered yes to these questions, then why not walk into the house? I’m not trying to throw guilt, but I do hope this convicts. God wants you to enjoy this time. To find the good through it. He wants you to celebrate going into 2021, and not dread it.
How do we accomplish this?
One of the best ways that I know how, is to finish Psalm 77. I quoted verse 10 earlier. Here is what verse 11 says, “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.” Don’t forget all that God has done for you. Don’t forget His mercies and His grace. Don’t forget His provision and His love.
Don’t forget that Jesus walked into the house. For Him it looked like a manger and a cross. Those weren’t pleasant years on earth. Now we celebrate those days and call them Christmas and Good Friday. Our bad Fridays can become Good Friday’s too. All you have to do is trust the Father as He welcomes you inside.