I met with my doctor last week for my six week post-shoulder surgery check in and things are progressing well. Great.
Doc: Things are looking good. And now we enter the second phase of your recovery when the physical pain begins.
Me: Wait. What? If the physical pain is about to begin, what have I been feeling for the past six weeks?
Doc: That was the psychological pain. You were realizing your limitations post-surgery and getting used to a lack of movement and sleep.
Me: So, for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure I’ve felt physical pain. And you’re saying it’s about to get worse?
2020 has been the worst in everything from pandemic numbers to election ugliness. Family gatherings have been cancelled. People have lost their jobs. Businesses have closed. Wedding dates have been rescheduled.
And now we hear that it could get worse.
Jesus followers tend to be people of hope, and we who are prosperous Jesus followers find hope easier than – say – believers in the Middle East who have endured a lifetime of war and injustice. There are poor people in the world who have little hope that they will ever rise out of poverty. There are powerless people in the world who have little hope that they will ever have the power of self-determination.
Heaven is not just for the afterlife. And if you believe this too, it’s a good time for us to take 2020 by the horns and wrestle with the pain of these days.
It could get worse before it gets better.
So how will we cope? By hunkering down in our own little worlds? Or reaching out? (Believe me, I know that reaching can hurt quite a bit, but things won’t get better unless I practice reaching.)