I’ve read many adjectives to describe 2020. While some of them are not appropriate Christian reading, many were accurate. At this moment, my word is EPIC.

One definition of EPIC is “extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope“. From almost any viewpoint, this year has extended beyond the usual. In the retelling of this adventure, I expect the tale will grow exponentially, even though I wonder if it’s possible to exaggerate what we are going through. Did anyone anticipate Tropical Storm Beta? And we’re not through yet.

I suppose I am using EPIC in a sarcastic tone. Finding the positives in this year takes some effort. I know many churches began the year with themes like “20 20 Vision” – I am not hearing that as we enter the Fall season. I just hear questions. “What Next?” I can relate.

Even as we endure some pretty strenuous challenges, I do think we need to remember that in the storyline of every EPIC there are those moments when we wonder if every hope is gone … every hero has fallen … every good has been defeated.

So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
    But what a difficult task it is!

Psalm 73:16, NLT

It is usually just before the turning point in the story that the reader begins to wonder if this is going to be a disaster rather than a victory. In the haunting lyric of Longellow’s poem, we read:

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said; 
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

It isn’t until the next verse that the bells of Christmas Day peal out a victorious sound.

In this year of pandemic, racial chaos, political polarization, wildfires, and hurricanes we might be speaking like Longfellow’s stanza … or like Habakkuk’s painful outcry.

How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save.

Habakkuk 1:2

Yes, in every EPIC there is a moment when all seems to have gone wrong and it appears to be the end of the story. It was during such a season when brokenhearted disciples heard the world-changing news:

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

Matthew 28:6

So, while we wait for something better to happen, don’t give up. Keep your faith strong. Remember you are not alone. The struggle as we live out our EPIC is not easy, but there’s something ahead that will change the whole story in an amazing way.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:5