Thursday, October 11, 2001

Jeremiah 18:11-12

"Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart."
Jeremiah 18:11-12

I wonder, in these scriptures, why the people thought there was no hope.  God asked them to repent... and, in times past, when people repented, then he withdrew the impending doom.  Like Jonah and Nineveh for instance.  So, when God asks us to repent, there is always hope.  I think though, because of Satan... who loves to hit us with insecurity, self-doubt, and overwhelming darkness... it sometimes feels like there isn't much hope.  We're stuck in chapter 5 where the hero is sinking in quicksand, and there aren't any branches in reach... or help to be had.  Satan tries to make us forget that there are quite a few more chapters, and that it is obvious the hero can't die in chapter 5.  He wants us so far engrossed in the terror that we put the book back on the shelf and refuse to read any further.  But... that is exactly the wrong thing to do.  Reading is a risk, yes.  We are invested in the story, and, especially in this case, the story is life-changing and emotionally charged.... but taking the risk of reading (and participating in) the story is the only way that we get to experience the amazing struggles, and see them overcome.  The story is scary and terrifying in spots... but the good overwhelmingly outweighs the bad.  Don't give up on the story... don't write yourself a new ending after reading a few chapters.  The people in today's scripture obviously weren't very imaginative in *their* ending.  You don't get good writing without hope and belief in miracles... and both of those elements are provided by God as an essential part of every chapter.  Quicksand is nothing to a hero... and neither is whatever it is that we are going through right now, no matter how immediately terrifying it is.  Let's turn the page.  See what happens next... and trust God to provide the happiest of all endings.

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