Seeing the Blessing in the Struggle

by Jamie Bonnema

This past year has been a struggle and a blessing. At both ends it has been immensely intense. Some may find it odd to even think about this past year as a blessing when at times we would rather close that chapter and never remember. But through this amazing struggle, I have learned much. My heart will never be the same, and I have a feeling that this is for an extremely important reason: there is much ahead.

This year has changed all of us. We were on our knees, sobbing in prayer, joining others across the globe, with unified pleas to heaven. Prayers were not little. They were not taken lightly. For the first time in a long time, many of us came to the realization that our simple way of living had been taken for granted, and we had left so many conversations with God behind, not understanding what was at stake. We left action in a box on the shelf. We left decisions up to others when we should have been leading the charge. We just wanted to live our own lives and let others live theirs, while different plans were going on behind the curtain. And then, little by little, we began to see the consequences of leaving things up to others. We saw what we should have seen before—the abandonment of morality and logic took charge, and the golden calf is now visible before us as other “gods” have the attention. It seemed too much to take in, more was piled on, and even more came to light. There were mornings in which I was surprised when my eyelids opened to see that life was still happening. Christ can return at any time, and today could be the day—or last night could have been.

But when I open my eyes in the morning, aware that I’m still breathing, I understand that I have another day to do something right. Many times, I fail, but when the sun comes up, I still have another chance. God, what do you want of me?

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