Patient in Pain
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah was rarely a happy camper. The good Lord had set him apart before he was formed in the womb to become a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5). His task was to call a recalcitrant and proud Israel who had forsaken their rescuing God, and engaged in false worship to a humble repentance.
Jeremiah's task was multiplied exponentially in difficulty. God instructed Him to not even pray for these people. Unfaithful Israel was guaranteed to reject, assail, and hate Jeremiah.
Jeremiah had innocently been caught up in the unrestrained sins of others. He did not sit with wicked men. Their judgement was too His pain.
In the search for reason Jeremiah cried to God as so many have, still and will do:
why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? - Jeremiah 15:18a
Jeremiah led a long life of long lament. He wrote the book of Lamentations from the abyss of his soul, but there were too shafts of light rising from his abyss. He penned:
- I say to myself - the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait upon Him. - Lamentations 3:24
- The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. - Lamentations 3:25-26
As with King David in the Psalms, Jeremiah the prophet knew this also to be true:
As I make the Lord my portion this portion can only ever grow.
Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. (Psalm 16:5)
Today's Soul Snippet:
"As wax melts at the fire, so the virtue of the soul is thawed and runs away when it is praised." ~ anonymous
#Today's image is Rembrandt's impression of Jeremiah lamenting the fall of Jerusalem, circa 1630.