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Give thanks to the lord as year 2020 ends

By Princewill O. Ireoba
27 December 2020   |   4:13 am
The year, 2020 is obviously a year that anyone who witnessed it will hardly forget in his life. The overwhelming devastating manifestations and effects of COVID-19 pandemic actually occurred in 2020.

Princewill Ireoba

“Give Thanks. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures
forever.” (Psa. 107:1)

The year, 2020 is obviously a year that anyone who witnessed it will hardly forget in his life. The overwhelming devastating manifestations and effects of COVID-19 pandemic actually occurred in 2020. The global application of such measures as shutdowns and lockdowns to contain the plague engendered huge psychological, social and economic implications, such that everyone is virtually affected. There were hunger, business meltdown, job dislocations, fear and distress, among others.

The year is even more gruelling for us in Nigeria as, aside the COVID-19 palaver, there were also the EndSARS protests, with the hijack resulting in lootings and destruction of lives and properties. The violent responses of the Government by killings, detentions, clamping down of bank accounts, etc., aggravated the people’s suffering that was being protested ab initio. The scourge of insecurity continued unabated to the point that over 300 students were abducted from their school. There were other disruptions and uncertainties of programmes and activities, even rain fell much into December.

The picture of a year hazardous in different fronts painted by Chinua Achebe in Chapter 3 of his Things Fall Apart portrays this year 2020: “The year that Okonkwo took eight hundred seed yams from Nwakibie was the worst year in living memory. Nothing happened at its proper time; it was either too early or too late. It seemed as if the world had gone mad. The first rains were late and when they came, lasted only a brief moment…

“That year, the harvest was sad, like a funeral and many farmers wept as they dug up the miserable and rotting yams. One man tied his cloth to a tree branch and hanged himself. Okonkwo remembered that tragic year with a cold shiver throughout the rest of his life. It always surprised him when he thought about it later that he did not sink under the load of despair. He knew he was a fierce fighter, but that year had been enough to break the heart of a lion. Since I survived that year,” he always said, “I shall survive anything.”

Some people, indeed, wondered whether they would survive the year 2020. But here we are towards the end! This can only be by the Mercy of God and we should give thanks to Him. Survival in the year should not in any way, be taken for granted. Besides, there are, certainly, also great things that the Lord has done for us, both in our individual and communal lives, if we look at them with eyes not beclouded with despondency.

People see or assess passing years differently, depending on their perspectives, which also determine how they end the years. Some end the year with regret, seeing themselves as negatively affected and so, “PURSUING” the passing year as if everything about the going year is evil. But some end the year with joy, seeing themselves as positively affected and so THANKING GOD for the passing year. But whether you consider yourself positively or negatively affected, you must not trivialise or diminish the mighty works of God in the ending year. We need to end the year on a note of thanksgiving to God.

The attitude of many at the end of the year is sheer ingratitude: “I failed to do this.” “I couldn’t achieve that.” “This happened and that didn’t happen.” “The year is really too bad.” This is ungratefulness and lack of appreciation. It shows blindness. This should not be a time of regret, but a time to look forward and march into the future with confidence. Yes, you have to look back. But try to see God’s hands in everything you passed through, even the ones you consider to be negative.

After considering all that the Lord has done, Psalm 107 urges us, in spite of the seeming odds, to give thanks to Him for He is good and His mercy endures forever. The Psalm concludes by saying that: “Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the loving kindness of the LORD.” (vs 43). This means that the fools do not understand the goodness of God. They only see evil and only complain and murmur.

As we end the year 2020, let us not be fools. Let us be wise. Let us end the year on a note of thanksgiving. The Lord is good. His Mercy endures forever.
• The Venerable (Dr.) Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. princewillireoba@gmail.com, trinityfoundationibrucentre@gmail.com