Many including myself have commented that 2020 was probably the worst year of our lives. Many including myself have commented that things have got to be better in 2021. Many including myself have uttered the phrase, “I just want things to get back to normal.”
I’m afraid to even suggest – what if 2021 is rougher than we think it is going to be? C’mon – you have to admit the thought possibly crossed your mind? It continues to go back to our lack of control, lack of uncertainty of when the hard times will end, and struggling to find glimpses of hope in our current circumstances.
Here are 3 “scrolling” practices I’ve come across that we can do to help find what I call “pockets of joy.”
1) Scroll through photos on your phone – Since most of us don’t have photo albums, try scrolling through your phone. I was surprised that 2020 had a lot of great moments – birthdays, friendships, vacations, officiating my niece’s wedding, inspirational online messages, my awesome wife, kids and grandkid, the greatest dog in the world, meeting Murray from Impractical Jokers, and on and on. I feel even better when scroll through years past and see so many happy moments I had forgotten about. Try it!
2) Scroll (browse) through the stories of God’s faithfulness in the Bible – Hebrews says “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by The Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Like most of you, I don’t feel that great after watching the news or spending extensive time on social media.
However, when I read the Bible – I’m encouraged, inspired, hear God’s voice, anticipate the endless joy of heaven, and can be reminded of God’s faithfulness in the past when things looked hopeless. Moses and all of Israel were up against the Red Sea – no problem, God can split it and create a pathway. Mary was going to give birth to the Savior of the World before she got married? No problem, the Holy Spirit miraculously places the Son of God in her womb. Jesus is facing a food shortage for over 5000 people. No problem, Jesus looks to the Father for help, He provides – and “everyone ate and was satisfied” (Matthew 14:20).
Facing a global pandemic that started in 2020, the people were filled with anxiety, hopelessness, and despair. No problem, God _________________ (we’ll see what He is going to do)!
3) Scroll (write) using a journal – Research shows the power in physically writing things down, and even more power when they are verbally spoken. Our journals can be a cheap notebook. We don’t have to write something every day. They don’t have to be perfect. If you’re afraid of someone reading it – write in a secret code that only you and God understand and hide it in a good spot 🙂
Plus, we make the rules for what goes into the journals: thoughts, dreams, challenges, lists, goals, prayer requests, quotes, life events, meaningful scriptures, ideas, sketches, worries, and on and on! Part of the power comes from looking back months or years later and seeing the goals that were accomplished, the prayers that were answered, or how a dream unexpectedly came true!
Conclusion – “His faithful promises are your armor and protection” (Psalm 91:4).