Jeremiah 4:9-10,19-28 (NIV)
“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“the king and the officials will lose heart,
the priests will be horrified,
and the prophets will be appalled.”
Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”…
Oh, my anguish, my anguish!
I writhe in pain.
Oh, the agony of my heart!
My heart pounds within me,
I cannot keep silent.
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;
I have heard the battle cry.
Disaster follows disaster;
the whole land lies in ruins.
In an instant my tents are destroyed,
my shelter in a moment.
How long must I see the battle standard
and hear the sound of the trumpet?
“My people are fools;
they do not know me.
They are senseless children;
they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil;
they know not how to do good.”
In a time like now, when there is an active war in Ukraine, a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria that has left thousands dead or injured, and unfair treatment of protesters in Iran, it seems like our world is falling apart. But that’s just with international affairs, not even including our individual problems.
In our corrupt and unjust world, it can be hard not to think like verse 10: How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats! Why do we suffer when God can make peace? Only God knows, and I’m not going to pretend that I have any knowledge on the answer to that very loaded question. However, I do know that in some ways obstacles bring people together, unite communities, and can cause positive change. It also makes me feel more connected to others when we pray for each other or for the same issues.
What sticks out to me in this chunk of Jeremiah 4, is verse 20. How “disaster follows disaster,” which we all can relate to. Going along with the events I mentioned, personally my “disasters” include stress from school, choosing which college to attend, and grieving friendships. Unlike most verses, there is no reassurance here. It’s pretty hard to find some sort of joy from these verses to bring with you for days or weeks, but I think that joy is the journey. The journey carries pain but also joy; it has its highs and lows. The journey to the cross is a long one but I can’t wait to rejoice in God’s love.
Dear God, please give me the strength to face the day and to see the many blessings that it contains. Give me the courage to walk on, no matter how long the path or how many turns the road holds. Guide my thoughts so that I walk in love and peace and with gratitude stamped on my heart. Amen.