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Doug Creamer column: Perspective

By Doug Creamer

As I sit down to write we are just a few days away from Christmas. You are now just on the other side of it. I am in the anticipation state, while you have already experienced it. Our perspective on any event depends on where and when we look at the event. Our perspective can also be impacted by our past experiences.

Our perspective on 2020 from Dec. 31 of last year is very different from our perspective on it today. We have experienced the year and can now look back on the good and the bad. Most of us could never have imagined the impact that this virus has had on our lives. If you had told me that I would be wearing a mask in public, I would have told you that you were crazy.

I try to enter every year with a degree of hope. People who know me will tell you that I try to always find the good, even in difficult moments. It didn’t take long for that hope to get crushed as 2020 began to unfold. There have been health issues and concerns throughout my whole family and they continue to challenge us.

Even in the midst of all the health problems of 2020, I think there are some positive things that have happened. Many families have grown closer together. At some point it was forced upon us when we were under lockdown orders. Many people have made efforts to connect or reconnect with family and loved ones.

If we weren’t able to gather together, we made more efforts to touch base through calls, emails and video chats. These were not ideal situations, but we made the efforts to stay in touch and to check on each other. Life has a way of getting busy and it is easy to allow ourselves to drift apart. I think COVID has reminded us of the need to stay in touch.

I have heard that some people have reconnected with their faith because of COVID. Sadly, many churches have closed because we can’t have large group gatherings. Maybe we need to remember what Jesus said, that where two or three are gathered he is right there with us. Gathering as a church is very important for our spiritual health, but we can encourage and challenge each other to a deeper walk with God when two or three gather together, too. When churches can re-open again, we will all have to encourage each other to reconnect.

Our perspective on God is highly influenced by the circumstances of our lives. I have seen many high school girls raise children on their own. I can easily imagine that those children would grow up thinking that God is distant. He doesn’t care about our daily needs. While I know that is not the truth, experience has taught these children that their earthly father was distant so their heavenly father must be, too.

If your dad or mom was harsh, cruel, or abusive, then you may believe that God is the same way. If you were lucky enough to have great parents, then it is easier for you to imagine that you have a good, good father in heaven. If you grew up in a church, your image of God could be influenced by your childhood pastor and Sunday school teachers.

The truth is the Bible tells us that we have a good, good father who loves us. He knows every detail of your life and he loves you and likes you, too. He knows what you are up against right now and he cares about your situation. He believes the best about you because he created you. He is actively planning a great future for you. He knows there will be good days and bad days, and is already planning to send you the help you need.

We need to examine our perspective on God. He is the savior born in a manger for you and me, but he is also the king of kings and the lord of lords. the entire universe is under his control. There is no detail of life that escapes his notice.

I want to encourage you to re-examine your perspective of God. Are you allowing your experiences to shape how you see God? I challenge you to consider what God says about himself in the Bible. He is loving, kind, merciful, forgiving, and a good, good father. No one truly knows all about God. We can all learn more through God’s word. I believe that will help give you a fresh perspective on the positive possibilities and the hope for 2021.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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