Can I do it? Can I trust Him? Really trust Him? This is a question that I have asked and re-asked and then asked again.
Each time the answer has been Yes. Yes, I can trust Him.
This morning as I dug into Jeremiah 15 I read these words of Jeremiah as he makes his plea before his God…
You who know, O Lord,
Remember me, take notice of me,
And take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away;
Know that for Your sake I endure reproach.
Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.
I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers,
Nor did I exult.
Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone,
For You filled me with indignation.
Why has my pain been perpetual
And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream
With water that is unreliable?
Jeremiah asked these questions of the Lord. One of my favorite things about our God is that He is not afraid of our questions. He doesn’t shout at us from behind the safety of His curtain…
When we need a heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and when we need wisdom (James 1:5) and when we need courage (Deuteronomy 31:6)… He gladly receives our request. He desires that we come to Him for help. Our God, in fact, becomes greatly offended when we DON’T come to Him.
Has a nation changed gods
When they were not gods?
But My people have changed their glory
For that which does not profit.
“Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water.
He wants our questions. He wants our prayers. He wants our cries for help. He wants us to come to Him for help.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Sometimes, like Jeremiah, we can have wounds that refuse to be healed. Wounds that just when we think the scab is forming and the healing has begun, something happens to jerk that scab off and reopen the wound.
We sit alone in our pain and outside we see others go on… merry making.
The word merrymaking in this verse is sachaq and it means laugh, including instrumental music, singing and dancing
So many go on… sitting in their circles… they continue their laughter, playing their music, they just keep on singing and dancing… Jeremiah couldn’t do that. Jeremiah couldn’t laugh and jump and shout and dance around. It was not a time to laugh. It was a time to weep… and unfortunately Jeremiah saw that he wept alone.
Sometimes it’s hard to shout “praise God” and “Amen” around and with some people. I have learned that it is okay to feel that way. However… God doesn’t want us to stay there in that feeling.
We see that in the way He answers Jeremiah.
Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.
They for their part may turn to you,
But as for you, you must not turn to them.
“Then I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,” declares the Lord.
No matter how bad it looks. No matter how bad it hurts. No matter how little we understand. No matter how great the temptation to keep walking away from the reality revealed… our God says keep returning to Me
If we return to Him, He WILL restore us.
Here’s the thing though… that restoration is to fellowship with Him. Restored to Him. That may not mean restored to health, restored to a marriage, restored to financial prosperity, restored to a position of power. It means restored to Him… and that should really be all that matters.
He told Jeremiah to extract the precious from the worthless. That seems hard, but it’s not… not really. I have watched my sister-in-law do this over and over again… as she has walked from breast cancer, to colon cancer, to liver cancer (metastasized from colon). She has been fighting the cancer in her liver with chemo for over three years… and a month ago she was told that the tumors were no longer responding to the chemo and they were going to have to change it again. They were returning to a chemo that caused her great cold sensitivity and neuropathy… and when I asked her if this chemo was make her lose her hair, she said “No. That was a different one thank goodness!” I responded with, “Oh good! A praise in the midst!” Then she said, “There is always a silver lining if you look hard enough!“
I believe that is exactly what God meant when he told Jeremiah to extract the precious from the worthless. That “silver lining” was the “precious in the worthless” and she was extracting it.
In doing so she has become a spokeswoman for God. She stands in the face of cancer and is able to be a representative to the grace of God and a testimony of His faithfulness to others as they face cancer or any other trial of this life.
So can I do it?
Can I trust Him?
Here’s one thing that I have learned… When it seems like we have the least reason to trust Him is when we need to trust Him most.