We all know 2020 has been a crazy year. Between violence, pandemics, and natural disasters, my fears grew so great that I started to sink into a hole of despair. I know some people wondered, “Where is God in all of this?” And “Things are only going to get worse.” As I heard these questions, I couldn’t help but think of the song, I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, where it says:
“And in despair, I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth, I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, goodwill to men…
Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
with peace on earth, goodwill to men”I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day
The presence of pain, problems, and sadness does not mean the absence of God. He is always present and active in our lives. And while I don’t know the meaning of everything, I do know that God loves His children. There has been a lot of sadness this year; however, there have also been so many blessings. Testimonies have been strengthened, families have grown closer together, and we have all had a chance to be more still and hear God.
Here’s how I’m finding peace during 2020:
- Maintaining an Eternal Perspective – I’ve been remembering the real reason why we’re here on this earth. We came here to learn, progress, and ultimately return to God with more knowledge, experience, and Christlike qualities than we had when we started on this mortal journey. To gain those wonderful qualities, we have to face trials and afflictions. We feel deep sorrow to feel great joy. Have weaknesses to develop strengths. There is a story of a young man who prayed to God during a rough period in his life. He felt abandoned and wanted to know why. What God tells him always gives me the motivation to move forward with a positive attitude:
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes…If thou art called to pass through tribulation..if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good.”
These hard times are BUT A SMALL MOMENT. Because of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, pain does not last forever.
- Seeing Everyone as a Child of God – Over the year I’ve found myself becoming so frustrated with anyone who disagreed with me. However, I had to remember that the enemy is not each other, its sin and more specifically, Satan. That devil is the master of contention. As I remember that everyone is a child of God, and precious to Him, I was better able to “Love my enemies, bless them that curse me, do good to those that hate me, and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute me” (Matthew 5: 44)
- Remembering that He Knows – Jesus Christ really did suffer every way we suffer. He felt our worst realities and fears so He knows how to help us. He knows what blessings and inspiration we need. Even in a socially distanced world, we are not alone.
- Filling my Life with Goodness – While I’ve been able to develop wholesome hobbies, like painting, I have also been praying more often and reading my scriptures daily. I have been striving to love my family more fully. The time away from social outings has helped me listen more carefully to what the Lord wants me to hear to help me on the journey ahead.
While there’s policies and programs that we can implement to make the world a better place, at the end of the day none of it will be profitable without the influence of our Savior. The gospel is the only perfect, long-lasting solution to the pains of mortality. At every root of every problem is a solution that can be reached with Jesus Christ’s teachings. I know with my whole heart that the gospel of Jesus Christ is real, it is the plan of happiness! Because of Him, we can handle this year and the ones to come.