I love hearing stories of people who have risen out of the ash heaps of life. They suffered terribly and through true grit, and/or miracles of God, they took on great opportunities to serve the Lord. I often get weary of people complaining about how difficult life is. Life is difficult! Normally, it’s from those of us who live in America. I get it. I know even in America where air conditioning is not an option, cell phones are standard equipment that comes with newborns (it seems), and it’s not a question of whether there is a chicken in every pot, but how many televisions every household has. We have stores that are loaded with food and merchandise. We have a medical system that surpasses everywhere on earth. Yet, we grow weary of life. It reminds me of the great passage in Jeremiah.
If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? (Jer. 12:5)
Jeremiah was facing tough times. The nation of Judah was turning away from God and Jeremiah was weary preaching to a people who continued to reject God’s message and to disrespect him at every turn. Yet God was not going to console Jeremiah to sit in tears and give up. To the point where Jeremiah was, he was only battling the footmen. Jeremiah prophesied from 626 – 586 B.C. This was likely early in his career.
God’s point was this: if the footmen – the small problems you face now – weary you, what are you going to do when the horses – the big problems of his later ministry – contend with you? If you grow weary in a time of relative peace, what will you do when you are running from trouble – the floodplain of the Jordan? Jeremiah, will you keep your eyes on me and not lose heart?
It’s possible to lose heart. It’s always when we take our eyes off the Lord. When our eyes are on the Lord, we may suffer, lose everything, or even be shut down, but the Lord is always sufficient. Paul said it best.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)