The Fruit of the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit

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A reflection on faith after 2020

Joy Fan, Logos Editor

A new year comes with an abundance of opportunities – to start anew, bursts of motivation, but also the chance to reflect. And boy, there sure is a lot to reflect on. 2020 was not exactly the start of the decade we were expecting. It was a hard year. Feelings of isolation and loneliness, the many lives lost, displayed by the numbers we saw updated daily. For many, to say 2020 has been the worst year of their lives may not be a far stretch. 2020 with a certain weight – larger resolutions, expectations, and hopes. It left in its wake a harsh reality of the human condition, as we saw people act callously, selfishly, and cruelly. 

I was relatively fortunate during the past year, all things considered. I managed to find a job for the summer, don’t need to worry about putting food on the table, or having a roof over my head. I’m also young and don’t have any pre-existing conditions, so while I was cautious, I never felt genuinely fearful for my life. 

Regardless of my own personal condition, however, it was impossible to forget the state the world was in. The virus was not the only thing to worry about. 2020 saw people fight inequality and climate change. It saw people fight against each other. Being inside all day meant that I saw the world through my phone and the news. It meant I had more than enough time alone with my thoughts.

The world felt too cruel to be kind. Suffering felt so unfair, unjust. I felt perpetually exhausted – talking about it made me tired, thinking about it made me tired, but when I wasn’t doing either of those things, I was trying to sleep off the weariness. 

2021, perhaps, is not off to the greatest start either – yet it provides with it and arbitrary point at which I felt inclined to reflect on the past year. I gave me the tiniest spark of motivation to think about what a year 2020 was. Sometimes I think about what the point of it all was. I’m not sure I quite understand, even now. And yet, we need to continuously hold onto our faith and have “… confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

That is what faith is. Believing even when you cannot see. 

Truthfully, I cannot say I do not waver, nor can I claim that I am always full of hope, but so long as I can hold on to even a sliver of my faith, I will grow this confidence and assurance, despite not being able to see right now.

Yet, while I felt so alone at times in 2020, Joshua 1:9 reminds us, “… Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I pray that you will not be afraid and hope steadfast in your faith, and “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

May we all hold steadfast to our faith, take time to reflect, and look forward to what 2021 bring us.