2020: Grace in Grief
I don’t have to tell you what a strange year it’s been. I’ve struggled with a lot of grief and sorrow over this year, as plans I made went right down the drain and people began questioning my intelligence and integrity over diseases. I’m used to the abuse for being a creationist, but this was a whole new level. And a quarter million Americans died from COVID-19. Businesses shut down. People lost their jobs. Race riots revealed inner ungodliness, and the election further divided us.
In the midst of these sorrows, it’s important for those who hope in the Lord to bring our griefs to him. Everyone turns so easily to complaining, but if we truly believe in a God who cares about our troubles, we ought to be taking those troubles to him. When we do, sometimes God gives us a bigger view of our griefs.
At Core Academy, we’ve actually had a pretty decent year, unlike so many other ministries. We had a great Smoky Mountain Creation Retreat before the shutdown, and I’m grateful for that. We started a new YouTube series that’s reached more than 4,000 people. We held an online conference, our first Creation Celebration, that attracted more people than anything else we’ve ever done. The Lord has brought new friends and supporters to the ministry. Financially, we’ve gone up and down, but we seem to be doing a little ahead of last year.
In the midst of such sorrow and lament, I am humbled and grateful to find once again that the Lord provides. Frustrations and suffering are nothing new, and Jesus assured us that hardships would continue all the way to the end of the world. But do not be afraid, because Jesus has overcome the world, not by beating it but by suffering along with it. God uses suffering to redeem the world.
My struggles are miniscule compared to so many others, and I know we haven’t experienced the shocking losses of loved ones or livelihoods. But I am grateful for God’s grace in the midst of the hardships of 2020. If we hadn’t shut down, I never would have started that YouTube series. If we hadn’t experienced other people’s online conferences, we never would have hosted our most successful conference ever. Grief isn’t random. Sorrow isn’t meaningless. This isn’t some nihilistic universe devoid of ultimate purpose. God brings beauty and joy and wonder from grief and loss and struggle. If he can save the world with an old rugged cross, imagine what he can do with 2020.
As we look with great anticipation to the end of this dark year, I am looking forward to one more miracle. Every holiday season, we (along with every other nonprofit out there) raise about 30-40% of our annual budget. It’s kind of like our pledge drive. This year, with so many people out of work, I thought we should be more modest in our fundraising goal, maybe cut it back a little. But the truth is that we have a need, and our God is able to meet that need. What kind of faith says, “I can’t see how God can answer my prayer, so I’ll pray for something else”? That’s no faith at all.
So I ask you to join with me to pray to God to provide our need of $30,000 by the end of the year. Honestly, this seems impossible to me, but God is the God of the impossible. If you’d like to help us meet this fundraising goal, you can give online at coresci.org/donate or send your check to the address below. To all of you who have already given over the past year, THANK YOU! Thank you for being an instrument of God’s blessing in my life and in the lives of everyone that Core Academy ministers to.
Checks can be sent to
Core Academy of Science
P.O. Box 1076
Dayton, TN 37321
Thank you again, and may God bless you!
Todd Charles Wood