It is tempting to leave 2020 in our rearview mirror and never look back. Yet, 2020 brought us valuable experiences that are worth reflection and consideration. What was God doing that we may have missed? Have we processed our emotions with God? What may we need to recognize in order to move into 2021 with our hearts open?
Set aside some quiet time to consider these questions with God. Below you will find a reflection guide, based on Solomon’s words from Ecclesiastes 3. Read the verses and then ponder the questions that follow.
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 (NLT)
As you consider 2020, what “times” have you experienced this year? Have you processed these experiences with God? Mark each verse that you want to talk with God about.
As you look back over 2020, does it feel as if you have had more troubling experiences or more joyful ones? Has there been more grief than joy, tearing down than building up, tearing rather than mending etc, or is the opposite true?
How are you feeling as you end the year? Talk with God about your emotions.
As you look at the different seasons expressed in the verses, what are you tired of experiencing? What are you wanting more of? What sounds like it would be refreshing?
Talk with God about your desires.
Even though we cannot see the whole scope of God’s plan, he is making everything beautiful for its own time.
Where have you seen beauty in 2020?
Have you experienced beauty even in hard circumstances?
Might God want to show you more of the beauty that he put into this year?
Talk with God about these questions.
Solomon concludes that whatever fruit we have received this past year is a gift from God. What gifts did you experience from God in 2020? How might you celebrate those gifts today?