Hindsight is 2020

01 January 2021 | Reflections | Anthony Luxton

If you could have known how 2020 was going to be what would you have planned differently?

As a church we had high expectations for 2020. After recently completing the renovation of our worship area, we were anticipating our building to be used more regularly by the local community. We had organised with our local primary school that they would use our space for their key assemblies; we were looking forward to a Christian theatre company performing at the church for both the school and the public; we had planned to further develop our children’s work after our successful Christmas party and many other activities. Sadly, none of these plans came into fruition.

As we look back over 2020, we probably have mixed feelings including frustration and disappointment. I chose the feature image (above) as, for me, it was a poignant reminder of this season. It is a utilitarian picture of love and promise in restraint. We are reminded during unexpected times that things do not always go according to our plan. Sometimes this may be a message that our plans were not God’s plans. At other times maybe we are experiencing the delays and detours of life in which God develops us.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (James 1:2-3).

‘There is a tension between taking control and letting God care for things.’ There is not a need to discard one for the other, rather we ought to strive to ensure that God is the ultimate building material of good plans. Through the book of Isaiah, we can identify several principles in making good plans and being confident in them:

  1. Seek God’s plans affirming that His plans are better and higher than ours (Is. 29:16)
  2. Accept God’s plans living by faith in His love, having confidence that God’s goodness is expressed in His timing (Is. 30:18-22)
  3. Credit God’s plan proclaiming that ultimately it is only God who will deliver his people (Is. 55:8-11)

My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine … It is the same with my word. I send it out and it produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. (Isaiah 55:8,11)

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Dunfermline West Baptist Church
Chalmers Street, Dunfermline
KY12 8DG