Once again, it is the weekend. Days have flown by. I am worn. Frayed around the edges, overwhelmed and exhausted, wondering what is coming next, clinging to the promises of Jesus, crumpled at His feet.
I am reading in the book of Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet”. Perfect. I grab snatches of comfort and assurance as I read the desperate cries Jeremiah uttered, and the reassuring replies he received from God.
“But Thou knowest me, O LORD; Thou seest me; and Thou dost examine my heart’s attitude toward Thee…” ~ Jeremiah 12:3a You know and see me, God. My heart is despairing.
” ‘For even your brothers and the household of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you, even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.’ ” ~ Jeremiah 12:6 Oh, how this hurts, Lord Jesus.
“Listen and give heed, do not be haughty, for the LORD has spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God, before He brings darkness and before your feet stumble on the dusky mountains, and while you are hoping for light He makes it into deep darkness, and turns it into gloom. But if you will not listen to it, my soul will sob in secret for such pride; and my eyes will bitterly weep and flow down with tears, because the flock of the LORD has been taken captive.” ~ Jeremiah 13:17 Oh people, listen to your God! Before it is too late, before the darkness descends and hope dwindles. What heartbreak and pain… Your people have been taken captive by this world, O LORD.
“Although our iniquities testify against us, O LORD, act for Thy name’s sake! Truly our apostasies have been many, we have sinned against Thee. Thou Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress, why art Thou like a stranger in the land or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night? Why art Thou like a man dismayed, like a mighty man who cannot save? Yet Thou art in our midst, O LORD, and we are called by Thy name; do not forsake us!” ~ Jeremiah 14:7-9 Forgive us for our many sins, dear God. You are mighty to save! Do not forsake us!
“Do not despise us, for Thine own name’s sake; do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory; remember and do not annul Thy covenant with us. Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not Thou, O LORD our God? Therefore we hope in Thee, for Thou art the one who hast done all these things.” ~ Jeremiah 14:21-22 Remember. Oh, please remember us, God. We hope in You.
“Thou who knowest, O LORD, remember me, take notice of me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Thy patience, take me away; know that for Thy sake I endure reproach. Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I exult. Because of Thy hand upon me I sat alone, for Thou didst fill me with indignation.” ~ Jeremiah 15:15-17 Remember. Take notice. Do justice. Preserve us. Help us endure. We take joy in Your Words. We are called by Your name. We try to remain a light and salt for the world around us and take no delight in sin.
“Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Wilt Thou indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable?” ~ Jeremiah 15:18 I take comfort in this! Jeremiah was disappointed and felt forgotten, perhaps like God had failed him. Oh my goodness, I feel this way at times, in my “pity party” moments of darkest despair! Yet God, our infinitely patient and gracious and loving God, didn’t strike him dead for feeling that way. He instead encouraged and instructed him.
“Therefore, thus says the LORD, ‘If you return, then I will restore you– before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them.’ ” ~ Jeremiah 15:19 It’s okay. Remember God, return to Him, and He will restore you. The great I AM is always here for you. Let God teach you through this ~ “extract the precious from the worthless”. But DO NOT turn to them. DO NOT turn to the world. Turn to the One True God. Hold fast.
” ‘Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you, they will not prevail over you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,’ declares the LORD. ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ ” ~ Jeremiah 15:20-21 The battle belongs to God. It is ugly and painful and overwhelming at times. And apart from God, we cannot hope to endure through the hardships and the trials. But God is faithful and keeps His promises. He will help us through whatever lies ahead.
God teaches me lessons in the most unusual ways…
As I dumped a load of “fertilizer” earlier this week while cleaning the chicken coop, I looked down and noticed this.
Out of the compost pile, wee little pumpkin plants were sprouting. Out of the “garbage” in our lives spring the promise of new life, the hope of better things to come, and the fruit God is anxious to produce in and through us. God extracts the precious from the worthless!
Hold fast, little pumpkins, and endure to produce God’s fruit! 🙂