The Importance of Crying Out

Would you agree that there is a difference between a child saying, “Mommy, I’m thirsty,” and a child saying, “Mommy, would you please get me a drink?”

Of course there is! One child is simply communicating unhappiness with her circumstances. The other is specifically asking for help.

Israel’s journey to freedom began by asking for help. Asking, or crying out, is a way of expressing trust, “God, please help me.”

2Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage ascended to God. 24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them. (Exodus 2:23-25)

God took it from there and called Moses in the desert of Midian. Then

28 Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which He had sent him, and all the signs that He had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the sons of Israel; 30 and Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. He then performed the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, they bowed low and worshiped. (Exodus 4:28-31)

Here’s the progression: the people cried out to God. He heard them. He remembered and took notice of them. He sent Moses. Moses and Aaron gave them hope. The people believed–and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their affliction, they bowed low and worshiped.

We could stop there. We all know the story. Pharaoh said yes, then he said no. He hardened his heart. The people had to make bricks without straw (i.e. it got worse before it got better). The Lord sent plagues. Life continued in Egypt. Hard, back-breaking, tearful, but God was at work.

Then, miraculously, God brought down the hammer. Pharaoh said, “Go!” and they went, plundering the Egyptians! It’s an incredible story of rescue and deliverance. In fact, based on how many times it’s used throughout the Bible, I would say that next to Jesus, this is God’s favorite narrative.

Cry out. God hears. God sees. He remembers you. He sees your affliction (even if you don’t know what to call it). He will deliver you. Ask Him for help. Don’t rely on yourself or others. God is against the oppressor, the one who uses others to his own advantage. Just. cry. out. Stop trying to do it yourself. Stop waiting for someone else. Stop complaining, griping, gossiping and slandering God behind His back. Go to Him! Lean into Him! Believe that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do (Hebrews 11:6).

More to come….

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a bush in the desert,
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,

A land of salt that is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water
That extends its roots by a stream,
And does not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise. (Jeremiah 17:5-8, 14)

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