Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Long Journey

I was reading in Jeremiah this week. (I've come to Jeremiah in my Bible reading. I probably would not ever get to it if I didn't read in a somewhat organized fashion which is why I recomend reading in an organized fashion!) In chapter 20 Jeremiah laments the fact that he has ever been born. He is sent to tell God's word to a people who won't listen to him. He is persecuted and hated and weary of being negative. Right in the middle of all his complaining Jeremiah says " But if I say,"I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in And I cannot endure it." verse 9. I love this verse because I get it. Sometimes it is hard to go through life and we want to quit. It makes no sense because God is the very best part of me, He is everything and all and I know He was to Jeremiah also but it still remains that sometimes it seems like it would be easier to just quit. I say "it seems like" because it would in fact be much more difficult. If I quit I would be alone, maybe surrounded by people but still alone. If I quit I love my Savior and I so need salvation. I needed it when I accepted Christ and I still need it everyday. If I quit I lose my life for Paul was right when he said that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I can't quit. In reality I don't want to. What happens is that I lose heart and I don't think that what I do matters or makes any kind of difference. I lose faith that God is working and that His purpose for me. I am pretty sure that is what Jeremiah felt because no one was listening to him or responding. In fact life seemed to get worse for Jeremiah all the time instead of better. He forgot, as I do that we don't always see all that is going on, he forgot that what matters to God is our obedience, not the results of that obedience, and he forgot that so much of ministry requires time and patience. I often forget, I forget when my life seems more difficult instead of less difficult. I forget when it seems I mess things up more than I help. I forget because so often I feel that the strongholds of my life will never be gone. I forget because I long for an easier time. But God is faithful to help me, remind me. Like Jeremiah, I have God's word and the testimony of what God has done in years past. I am surrounded by His faithful witnesses today. I have to say that I am ashamed of how wimpy I am, how easily I get discouraged. What I go through is small compared to Jeremiah. I can't imagine ministering for years faithfully with no response at all. God's word was like a burning fire in him and I relate to that. God is always in my heart and on my mind. Even in those moments of feeling tired he is there and I cannot get away from it. After Jeremiah said those words he continued his complaint. And that is me. I can complain about the futility of serving God while still feeling Him and His words burning inside me. I can both be tired of this life and longing to serve Him better at the same time. Life is an oxymoron of feelings and faith can be hard to hold onto and even more difficult to pass on. It is wearying work and a light burden all at the same moment. I labor each day to enter into His rest and one day I will live in His rest. Life is good, because of God.

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