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We can thrive in 2020

Brad McKenzie

Why?  You are not supposed to ask a question in an article like this.  Even so, why?  This is a common question of life, but even more common in 2020.  Most of us are finding it comical of the ongoing events one year is providing.  Even amongst the laughter, there is a growing and general wondering of this question.

Psalm 10: 1 (NIV) “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”  Even here in a Psalm accredited to King David, we have the question of why.  This psalm is most likely an extension of Psalm 9 and has a running them of the cry of the oppressed.  The cry of people, even the king, are common themes in scripture, most specifically in the Old Testament.  If we consider the presence cries in scripture, it does not seem to be a faux pas for us today.

The situation then becomes of what we do when we ask “why” and cry out in distress.  In our modern culture there are many “things” to turn to in our distress.  We have no lack of distractions and voices ready and willing to ease our anxiety and tell us what we want to hear.  Often, we stay away from what is best for us in times of questioning and distress and look for more palatable and easy options.  However, it is in times of difficulty we begin or pray, or at least ask others to pray, and maybe even look to scripture for help.  I want to remind us all the answers we need in life are fully available to us as we seek His Word and seek His Spirit.

I love the cries of King David because they are real, vulnerable, and human.  However, David never stays in the depths of his despair.  He always rallies back around to affirm the truth of God’s love, mercy, and help.  I encourage all of us to do the same.  The enemy of our soul wants nothing more than to keep us in the depths and distract us from the turn around.

Psalm 10: 12, 14, 17-18 (NIV) “Arise, Lord ! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.  But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.  The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.  You hear, O Lord , the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.”

I want to leave you with this.  It is ok to ask “WHY,” and it is ok to cry out to God in times of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty.  The quest is to not stay in the pit.  Leave behind the things and the people who keep you in pressed down and look to the tools the God of your soul has given to provide hope, serenity, and peace.  The truth is, you can’t make it, but when you cry out to God for help, you will find His loving arms ready to embrace you!

Friends, we have been through trials and a storm may be coming, but God is for us and we will not just survive, but we will THRIVE!

That is Good News!

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.