Day 44: Jeremiah 20:7-11
O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived;
You have overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day long;
Everyone mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the word of the Lord has resulted
In reproach and derision all day long.
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.
For I have heard the whispering of many,
“Terror on every side!
Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!”
All my trusted friends,
Watching for my fall, say:
“Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may prevail against him
And take our revenge on him.”
But the Lord is with me like a dread champion;
Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed,
With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.
Jeremiah 20:7-11 (NIV)
Sometimes I wonder if Jeremiah knew what he was getting into when he answered the call to be God’s prophet.
He wrestled with a deep frustration and loneliness in obedience. The word of the Lord was tough. It wasn’t a truth about comfort and joy, but a message of judgment. His role was to be the bearer of bad news. It was a lonely role. We hear it in his cry, “Lord, You have deceived me . . . Everyone mocks me. I heard whispering of many.”
Yet Jeremiah couldn’t walk from whom he knew to be true. Even in his complaining and wonder, Jeremiah surrendered to trust the leading of Father God.
As I walk with God, I can relate to those critical moments of Jeremiah when obedience and surrender do not come easy. Times when I have to admit that I am completely confused about what God is doing. I confess to pondering the question, “Is this really worth it?” I confess to, at times, lamenting the loss of comfort and control.
But in my deepest being, I am convinced of whom I know to be true. God, our Father, is with us. We are not alone. He is doing a new thing and I don’t want to miss it.
Phil Starr, Pastor of Student Ministry