Written by Madeline Kalu
I guess it’s safe to say that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years we have had to face, not only as individuals but as a global entity.
What with dealing with daily infection updates, feeling anxiety about the future, and adapting to the COVID lifestyle in general, we can easily overlook the times that God has blessed us with His goodness, mercy, and even miracles during this year.
King David wrote in Psalm 23:5 (NRSV) that the Lord “prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” David knew that God’s goodness was always present, even amidst adversity and strife. By penning Psalm 23, David ensured a creative way of reminding himself of this important truth.
Therefore, as the year draws to a close, here are five creative ways that we, too, can remember God’s goodness in 2020.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
We don’t need to wait until the New Year arrives to start keeping a journal, especially one where we can record our gratitude as a response to God’s mercy and grace in our lives.
A gratitude journal is a great way of recording daily acts of God’s goodness, that can otherwise go unnoticed amidst the hectic and challenges of our current, pandemic lifestyle.
By reading regularly over our entries, we can gain revelation of just how much God showed us His love and provision this year in ways we didn’t perceive at the time.
2. Make a Miracle Jar
“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”
My husband and l like to use a Miracle Jar to remember the times that God brought us extraordinary favor and provision – divine miracles – that we could never conceive as humanly possibly.
We take a large glass jar and write down all of God’s miracles that we experience on pieces of paper and store them in the jar. Then, as a family, we regularly read each slip of paper aloud and give thanks for each wonderous act of God’s goodness.
Having our Miracle Jar has made my husband and l aware of just how much God intervened on our behalf in 2020, when we didn’t see a way out of situations in our own strength.
You may ask what the difference is between a Gratitude Journal and a Miracle Jar?
We record daily acts of God’s goodness in our Gratitude journal e.g. restful sleep, the encouraging conversations with people we met that day, or that God left that last jar of pesto on the supermarket shelf for me when l really wanted pesto!
In our Miracle Jar, we have recorded acts of blessings such as financial provision, healing from sickness and pain, successful exam results, and more.
3. Keep a Prayer journal
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Keeping a prayer journal not only helps you keep track of your prayer lists and requests, it is also a wonderful way to remember God’s blessed responses to your petitions.
I personally like to dedicate a double page in my prayer journal for each spiritual request. On the left-hand side of the double page l write down the date, who l am praying for, and what their needs are. Sometimes, l even write a formal prayer that l can read out loud during my quiet time with the Lord.
When God provides an answer to my prayer, l record His response on the right-hand side of the double page, including the date when my prayer was answered.
Being able to see my written prayer petitions and how God answered them on the same page makes it easier for me to read over former entries and appreciate how God heard me in my time of need and answered my prayers.
It also encourages me that God will answer my remaining prayers, which motivates me to keep on praying until l see a change!
4. Keep God’s Word as a visual reminder
“..but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law they meditate day and night.
The most effective way to remember the blessings and favor that God promises us in His Word is to keep Scripture constantly before us as a visual reminder.
To help you achieve this, print the Bible verses that speak the most to you about God’s goodness, frame them, and hang them in your home as wall art.
Alternatively, you can cut out your favorite Bible verses and paste them in a Scripture scrapbook or write them out by hand.
Whatever method you choose, the most important thing is that we read our chosen Bible verses regularly to remind ourselves of God’s love and mercy towards us.
5. Be a Living Reminder For Others
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What better way to remember all the ways that God came through for you this year, than by showing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to others?
If God has blessed you with mobility and health, then consider helping your elderly or sick neighbors by offering to do their shopping for them. Ring a friend, who is experiencing difficulty as a consequence of the COVID-19 and let them know you’re there for them. If you see a homeless person on the streets, why not buy them a cup of coffee or a sandwich?
You can even get your kids involved by encouraging them to write letters to the inhabitants of senior citizen homes, which will help them feel less isolated.
In such unprecedented times, there are many who desperately need to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Shine His light that lives within you and illuminate this dark and broken world!
Although 2020 is a year that most of us are happy to put behind us, let us not forget that this has also been a year where God has shown us some of His biggest blessings and has provided for us in ways that seemed otherwise impossible.
Like the Israelites, who in Joshua 4:1-7 set up 12 memorial stones from the River Jordan as a unique reminder of God’s provision and favor during their greatest period of adversity, so too, can we remember that God is always good, and that neither a virus, nor the associated adversity arising from it can keep us away from His love, nor can it prevent us from receiving His goodness and mercy!