Recently, I overheard someone joke, "What if 2020 was just a movie trailer for 2021?" It got me thinking, if 2020 was a movie, what songs would be on the soundtrack? Here are a few possibilities: Don't Stand So Close to Me by The Police, From a Distance by Bette Midler and All by Myself by Celine Dion. As the final track, I would have to include the popular dance song from local band D:Ream, Things Can Only Get Better.
Isn't that what we're all longing for, that things will get better? Yet, as we enter 2021, there is still so much uncertainty, insecurity and apprehension.
Where does God fit into the chaos and crisis we continue to experience? Is He in control? Does He care? What is He doing about it?
In Isaiah 6:1, we read: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne... "
Uzziah had been Judah's king for 52 years and, under his reign, the population had experienced prosperity and protection. It was almost as if the blessing flowed down from the King to the rest of the nation.
While Uzziah was on the throne, the people felt safe and secure from their enemies, especially the growing might of the Assyrian Empire. In 740 BC, Uzziah died. As news spread, people immediately felt shock and sadness. But more than that, they were scared.
There was a huge amount of fear, insecurity and uncertainty.
In the midst of the crisis, a priest called Isaiah entered the temple. As he poured forth his prayers, he had a supernatural vision. He saw a throne. Not the empty earthly throne on which Uzziah had once sat. He saw a heavenly throne.
Seated upon it was the Lord of lords and King of kings. Uzziah might be dead, but God was very much alive and continued to rule and reign the cosmos in majesty and splendour.
Similarly, as we enter 2021, in the midst of so much anxiety and uncertainty, we need to know that God has not abdicated, or vacated, His throne. He still governs the universe with absolute authority and complete supremacy. Nothing happens that either doesn't come through Him or that He doesn't permit.
I know that might be difficult for some people to believe right now, but God knows what He is doing. He is moving all of history towards a predetermined destiny.
One day, there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth, free from sickness and suffering, death and pain.
At the start of this new year, can I encourage you to lift your eyes off negative news headlines and opinions on social media and to place them on the God who sits enthroned in Heaven?
He is still the Lord and King in 2021.