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Seeing Beyond the Present this Christmas

Since I stopped listening to and watching any type of news cast, I’ve been much happier. If I ever get curious about what’s going on in the world, all I have to do is click on the internet to see how depressing everything appears to be. Following Trump’s apparent loss in the 2020 Presidential Election, I thought stories would shift from the Coronavirus toward a more positive outlook for the future. From what I’ve read online, there must be a contest that I’m not aware of between news organizations to see who can present the bleakest forecast.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:1-4.

As I read about the latest death toll from Covid-19, I was reminded of an old song by Randy Stonehill. The lyrics of this song is filled with sadness, sorrow, and tragedy, very apropos for probably one of the worst years of the 21st century. Stonehill uses the backdrop of a Denny’s restaurant to compare an orphans Christmas meal with symbolism from the Bible. While the attached you-tube is gut wrenching, listening to this song helps me realize just how blessed my life is despite the current crisis facing America.

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

A wise Old Testament king predicted that these days would come. While the details are always slightly different, you can’t escape trials that pop up. These unexpected circumstances and events don’t wait for you to catch up. Rather, when crap hits the fan, things will get messy often leaving emotional and physical scars. Like the depressing story in the song Christmas at Denny’s, it’s hard to see beyond the present. Yet, when I read the miraculous testimony of Elizabeth and Mary, with God anything is possible this Christmas, Luke 1:37.

by Jay Mankus

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