This was not the year I was expecting. Nor was anyone else. I think most of us were expecting the election to bring some tension, but the rest of this circus? Only the most prescient or the most paranoid could have predicted this. Undoubtedly, it has been a brutal year for many. Lost jobs, lost businesses, lost friends and family. We’ve lost connection with people. Our whole sense of normalcy has been flipped upside down. Practically every person has had to reinvent their jobs, their hobbies, and their lives. What is God doing with our world right now? What is going on? What does He want from us?

I can’t answer those first two questions, but I think Psalm 150 can at least give us an answer for that last one. It's incredibly simple but infuriatingly difficult at times; Praise the Lord. Praise Him in the calm and the storm. Praise Him in every way you can imagine, with everything you can imagine. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” So as this dumpster fire of a year comes to a close, I will look for things to praise God for. I will praise Him for the opportunities to spend more time with my family. I will praise Him for the chance to feel empathy for my fellow man. I will praise Him for stripping away so many unnecessary things from my life over this last year so that I can see what is truly important.

And in the end, I will praise Him because He is my creator and He has commanded it. The negative emotions that are associated with 2020 are real and God is tending to them, but we will be most fulfilled when we are praising Him. So to that end, may 2021 bring us calmer seas but, more importantly, may it see us praising God more than ever before.

by J.T. Nanney

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