They have my sympathy
In just the last week I've heard of a dad being screamed at in a public car park by an adult daughter for an accidental slight he'd made against someone she knew. It was humiliating. Another had been cruelly dealt with for suggesting she'd babysat her friend's dog for long enough. That was unfair. Yet another had been slandered by a work colleague for incidents the slanderer had only imagined. That was heart breaking. A salesperson was cursed at by a desperate shopper for the company's not having stock on hand to match its advertising. That was embarrassing.
They're all in good company
I have been wading my way through the miserable swamp that is the book of Jeremiah. I've read it before. It hasn't struck me this hard before. It's horrible. For more than fifty years the poor bloke spoke his mind – the mind of God – and poured himself into it. Poured is hardly a good enough description. I mean he waterfalled, cascaded and sea spouted himself into it. Relentlessly.
God forbade him to marry so he was always alone. Colleagues lied about him and denounced his message and worse, his motives. Kings had him arrested and jailed. The most respectable people in town kidnapped him and dropped him in a cistern up to his neck in slime. He was laughed at, ignored and punished in every conceivable way – just for telling kings and citizens alike to act in mercy, fairness and in honour of God.
And whenever life got a little bit better for him for a day or two, it went down the drain again – only faster and deeper.
Wayne Jackson at The Christian Courier writes that the book of Jeremiah It is 'one of the most thrilling.' I didn't see it quite that way this time around. I just feel so sorry for the guy. Deeply deeply saddened. And although I'd like to think, my lot is nowhere as terrible as his so I should be happy about that I can only think how life is so hard, tough and gnarled sometimes. And that brings me down.
One thing comes through though. Jeremiah didn't give up. I reckon I would have. I am sad to say I need praise, effectiveness, the sense I have done something world-changing with my life, with my time and talent, not to mention a pathetic need for thanks, honours and perhaps a small statue. Jeremiah got none.
Jackson points out the big learning points from the book. I'm glad he did because on this reading, all I got was a bad case of depression and a good kick up the nether regions about how life isn't about me.
• God Empowers the Servant,
• Remember Your Vows
• God Hates the Superficial
• True Repentance
• The High Price of Sin
• God Will Be Victorious
• Jesus Is the Only Hope
• Expect Persecution
• Judgment Day Will Come
Anyhoodle. I hope this hasn't sent you into useless depression, and gives you a chance to say, Life looks terrible for a lot of people but God has a bigger view. I don't get it, but I'll go with it, come what may.
Anyway, to infinity and beyond.
Live long and prosper