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FRONT-PORCH GOSPEL: 2020 is history, but 2021 is already looking good

Welcome to the “front porch.”

You’ve heard it. “I’m so glad that 2020 is over and done.”

How many times have we heard that? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. 

But I’ve been thinking about it – and, yes, I understand that 2020 had its share of challenges. But if you and I can look back at that last somewhat-trying year and see that, first, you and those closest to you are safe and well, and, two, you have not gone under financially, then we did not have it so bad after all.

Those who were not blessed to come out of the end of the 2020 tunnel with those two things intact are the ones we feel the most for. The rest of us have to admit we’ve been pretty blessed.

I guess it’s a little like the great Bible hero named Caleb whom we discussed in our ‘front-porch’ visit to end the 2020 year. He is a man who faces more than his share of difficulties, but he had learned that positivism is better than negativism, any way you look at it. He would tell us that the giant challenge you’re facing really isn’t the ‘main thing.’ The main thing is what it is you have deep down inside you – and who it is you have standing right there beside you. Those things are the difference-makers.

While some people look at a giant standing before them, and say, “Aw, man, we can’t do anything with that. It’s a giant” – the Calebs of the world look at the giant challenge standing in front of them and say, “We can do this. Just hang on. The Lord will help us find a way.”

You know, Caleb’s challenge with that unbelieving generation of Israelites on his team makes 2020’s challenges seem minute. He not only has to face giants; he has to face them with a flailing and faithless bunch of people whining all around him. Our 2020s are tough enough without having to convert your own before going into the battle.

As a result, Caleb endures – and that’s what patience is – four grueling decades longing for the Promised Land. But he never gives up, through it all. Yes, Caleb will be eighty-five by the time he reaches his goal. But goals that are worth going after don’t have a clock attached to them.

In a way, Caleb has to endure forty long, hard 2020’s. But he digs his heels into the dirt and refuses to let up, give up, or loosen up. And, sure enough, when the day comes when he marches across the Jordan River into Canaan, he is high-stepping better than all of them, even at eighty-five.

And, you know, once he crosses over, the previous forty years are history.

Truth is, 2020 is history, too.

So, today, who will step up like Caleb, grit our teeth a little, say “We can” do this, then set out with a smile to see what good things 2021 holds?

Coach Steven Bowen, a long-time Red Oak teacher and coach, now enjoys his time as a full-time writer and preacher of the gospel. In addition to his evangelistic travels, he works and writes for the Church of Christ of Red Oak at Uhl Road and Ovilla. Their worship times are 10 a.m. Sundays and 7:30 pm. Wednesdays. Email or call or text 972-824-5197.

Ellis County Press

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