2020 was a year many would want to count out of our existence; mostly because it was filled with instability, there was an upheaval of our lives, schedules and emotions, and for many, there’s been sorrow and pain that overshadowed this year.
But going into 2021 I believe it will be a year of healing & restoration for many and a year of recalibration for the church.
I also believe with all my heart that in order to appreciate what is to come, we must embrace every aspect of this past year and the lessons it taught us.
Healing will come:
Over this past year, many of our friends and family members closed their eyes for the last time. And some not by choice of their own, closed them alone, without a hand to hold or a last gaze to fix on the ones they so loved.
The pain that’s caused by what feels like a life cut short is indescribable and leaves us feeling numb.
I believe the healing God wants to give comes with an assurance that no longer asks why; replacing questions with a deep reverence for His presence which allows us to be at peace with the fact that He was with them though we weren’t; He is the one who never leaves us nor forsakes us and nothing can separate us from His love…not death and not life.
They were embraced into eternity by the arms of the only one who could love them perfectly.
Healing comes when we acknowledge the pain of loss & separation but can rest knowing those we lost were received & embraced by the truest love they could ever know as they entered into eternity.
Restoration will come:
Once the pandemic hit, so many families were made to slow down and in the confinement of our own homes, face to face, had no choice but to be confronted with the reality that we had drifted apart; so much time had been spent running around to soccer practice, basketball games, dance recitals, business meetings and yes, even ministry gatherings and we realized what was masked as productivity was merely busyness that led us astray in our most important relationships.
And for many of us, it was that very wake up call in our relationship with the Lord.
Now that we couldn’t go anywhere or do much of anything, forced to be still, we were able to realize it was just the wake up call many of us needed, or we risked losing the ones we love most, not to the virus but to distractions and distanced hearts.
Many of us heard the sweet voice of the Lord whisper, “I miss spending time with you.” and we’ve wept but also rejoiced realizing God loves us and not because we do things for Him, but because He just loves us.
He wants to restore our families to wholeness and our relationship with Him to fullness.
Restoration comes when we acknowledge the brokenness and believe that God can breathe new life into dry bones. 2021 will be a year of restoration.
I believe 2021 will bring recalibration for the church!
- Systems that gradually drift off course so the navigator periodically needs a fresh point of reference to recalibrate the navigation system
- Tweeking something that appears to be working just fine
I believe that for a long time there were things in place that made us feel like we were getting a lot done and doing great things.
But we had drifted off course.
A fresh revelation of God’s heart and ways began to surface and we had to work hard at laying down our own agendas and ultimately, our lives.
When God begins to make changes here and there, if painful, proves we may have been out of step & out of rhythm with his heart. 2021 is a year of recalibration!
The opportunity to refocus & become a humble yet powerful, bold & courageous loving reflection of Jesus, who transformed the lives of everyone he met and every atmosphere he stepped into.
It’s a time where genuine love must be front and center in all we do and everything else done without it will be as a clanging noise unto heaven.
Sometimes as a church, we fall into the trap of thinking all is just fine as we go from week to week with our meetings and fellowships, our conferences and classes.
But in heaven’s perspective, perhaps that is not what God has asked of us!
These things are not necessarily bad in themselves, but definitely should not be the revolving nucleus of the church.
What sets the heart of God ablaze and causes Him to arise as the mighty one He is, moving heaven and earth is reaching those that don’t yet know Him.
Romans 5:8 (TPT)
But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!
Never The Same
As Pastor of a blessed and highly favored church, whose legacy is strong and whose testimony is exemplary over these last 90 years, I can say with all my heart that I am excited for the recalibration that is to come.
I believe that if we can embrace God’s tweeking in 2021, the latter years will be greater than the former!
If we as individuals and as a church can’t get with the changes that are coming, we may be missing out on what is supposed to be the greatest end time Harvest this earth has yet to experience.
While I agree that things will get worse, I also know the heart of God is that not one should perish.
So before He comes, and we all believe these evil days are an indicator He is coming soon, but before He does, there will be an end-time Harvest no generation has ever seen.
We are truly a chosen people! We are here for such a time as this!
After 2020 we can never be the same and we’re not supposed to be.
Recalibration sets us on a new and fresh path, it points us back into the right direction, into right thinking, into right doing.
2021 will bring many changes but if we allow ourselves to release control, we will see God’s ways are better. When He does something, He does it perfectly because His love is perfect!
Pastor Yvette Padilla is The First Lady of World Harvest Community Center in Brooklyn, NY.