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2021: A Great Year, Give or Take

Updated: Jan 6

By Joel Warren


Job 1:21

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.


I was 8 years old when a very important thing was taken from me. No, I’m not speaking of my lunch money or my 1980 Big Wheel.


My parents sat me down to announce their divorce, and that our family would look different. My dad was my hero, and in my very young mind, was taken from me at a very young age.


I also remember 1980 was a year of blessing. God gave me the opportunity, through my mother’s hard work, to attend a private school that allowed for much growth and experience. I fell in love with music and my life was forever impacted in positive ways.


2021 has been very similar to what I experienced as a kid. I have gone through much change. My job has changed, I have moved and my surroundings have changed. My brother and I experienced a very long hospital stay, which on some days, feels like my world has been turned upside down… Taken away.


Conversely, God has given so much this year. I have opportunities like never before to spend time with those I love. I have new friendships at St. Patricks, and I am forever grateful and blessed. I have been accepted to graduate school at DBU and will be allowed to pursue my masters degree in worship studies. This year I have been given more than I deserve.


I love how God works. He wants to use every circumstance to point us to him. We all can name parts of our life that occur for a season. And then, through our circumstances, come to an end.


Conversely, we can all think of times God provides when we are undeserving. When we never saw it coming.


Pastor Mark said this recently, “God always knows what He is doing”.


We can all lean on the truth of God’s sovereignty. Whether we are currently bracing ourselves in the darkness, or celebrating in the light, God knows. God loves.


May we find time to pause and reflect on 2021, and be grateful for what God has given and taken away.


May the new year bring overflowing trust and hope in God’s promise.

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