Tag Archives: Book of Jeremiah

Call To Me…

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” –Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)

Last month I had the chance to sit in on one of the adult Sunday School classes here in my new church setting. The discussion was already underway, so I just listened and discovered they were talking about Romans and someone had drawn a comparison to something in Ezekiel. The idea raised was pretty interesting so I decided to look it up later on. But when I actually made it to some alone time that evening, I accidentally opened up to Jeremiah, chapter 33 to be specific. And verse three (quoted above) just captured my heart and mind!

And that quick, I “heard” God offering me that same opportunity he had given to the prophet some six centuries  before Jesus’ birth.

Jeremiah had been arrested and confined in Jerusalem during the time that the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzur had besieged the city. Jeremiah heard God’s calls for the nation to repent, and he faithfully shared those divine messages, but they fell on deaf ears. Furthermore, the leadership of his nation, King Zedekiah, wasn’t listening to sound counsel, nor was he turning to God to repent and do things God’s way. Jeremiah had to have  moments of doubt and wondering and grief and sorrow over what he could see was coming for his beloved land.

Now-a-days we are half-way around the world and over two and a half millenia have passed since Jeremiah’s day. I have days when I wonder what’s going to become of this land I love so much. Nobody seems to want to hear the call to repentance that God still extends to all. The leadership in our political parties and in official government positions seem intent at times to not only reject God’s ways, as laid out in the Bible, to actively promote the violating of any “rule” God might have laid down. Some of us have been wondering where this is all going to end… especially in light of what seems like hopeless choices for the election of various officials throughout our governmental system… or even our church organizations, allegedly “the people of God” and yet seemingly intent on turning our back on anything God has asked of us… at least if it involves repentance from sin.

This verse, as it JUMPED OUT at me that night, reminded me that my first responsibility in those moments of wondering about the future, or my country, or even my church, is not to cry out in frustration or to vow to vote for this one or that one or to try to come up with my own plans to “keep the peace.” Rather, Jeremiah 33:3, reminds me that my PRIMARY responsibility as I look around at all that’s happening is to…

… simply call out to God.

“Call to me and I will answer…”

And that quickly, the anxiety begins to lift a little and Jesus’ inviting words flood back into my memory:

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”   —Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Jeremiah, even though he was facing overwhelming odds and great certainty that everything was falling apart, could call out to God and lay down his burdens before his lord. As I look at the uncertainty of my life, my nation, my health, my church denomination, my wife and children’s futures, my finances, even my own mental health… I can call out to my God and lay out all my burdens before Him… and give those burdens to him! He’ll take on those burdens and give me rest… and hope… and peace… even in a world that seems like its going to pot.

Oh yes, Lord! Remind me again and again that there is NO reason for me to carry all my cares, concerns, and burdens alone. Remind me to CALL to you and then lay these other things down to you as I simply draw closer to You, to learn from you and hear You. And I can then trust You to answer me and show me Your ways… even though I cannot see them from here. AMEN!

 

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Peek-A-Boo!

10807874_970886759595242_690679972_n“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.    —Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NLT)

   Our granddaughter has been in a foster home this past year. Neither our daughter nor her husband are able to provide the home she needs, so she’s been a foster child. As grandparents we have repeatedly tried to make ourselves available to care for her, but whenever you try to work with the legal system it usually takes a while to make progress. Early last month, at the conclusion of a three-hour court hearing, the judge decided that the most appropriate placement for our granddaughter would be with us. So all of the sudden my wife and I are parenting a toddler.

I’ve been reminded again of a few things I had forgotten since the last toddler in our home.

  • ¨ Toddlers eat everything, yet never gain much weight. (They graze: a tiny bit now & more later…)
  • ¨ Even though toddlers graze, they do it consistently, so they have enormous amounts of energy. (I eat larger amounts all at once and have gained more weight and have less energy. Hmmm….)
  • ¨ Toddlers learn more by watching what we do, than by being lectured on what to do. (Turns out most of us learn better that way… so why are most of our Sunday school classes lectures?)
  • ¨ Toddlers keep going until they need a nap. (I’m on board with this one!)
  • ¨ Toddlers want to keep going even after they really do need to sleep. (How many of us put off sleep until one more show is off, or one more chapter is read, or one more post is written?)
  • ¨ Toddlers are grumpy when they need food or sleep (or a change). (Maybe that’s the problem some of us old grumpy people have too??)
  • ¨ Toddlers love to play pretend… with dolls, cars, houses, and remotes. (Our toys and games are bigger and more expensive, but we still love to play and pretend… Even if it’s that we pretend we’re more important than everybody else!)
  • ¨ Toddlers think they’re the only ones that need attention. (Some things never seem to change…)

I could probably learn a few things from our granddaughter (if I had enough energy!). But one thing I DO know, is I have reconnected with an old game, “Peek-a-Boo.” She loves playing it, and I LOVE seeing her smile and hearing her laugh. There’s no danger in me not knowing where she went… and she has no fear of not knowing where I am. But we play. We pretend to not see each other. And so we look. And PEEK-A-BOO, there we are!

So many of us do the same thing with God. We pretend He can’t see us, and we try to do our own thing and play like we don’t know where He is. But just like that Scripture from Jeremiah says, as soon as we look for Him, He makes sure that we WILL find Him!

As Fall turns into Winter, and Thanksgiving gives way to Advent and then to Christmas, let’s remember the lesson of the Toddler’s Peek-a-boo game. Even when we feel far from God, and can’t figure out which way to go next, as soon as we begin to seek God, we WILL find Him. He’ll make sure of it!

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