While he was still confined to the prison quarters, the Lord’s word came to Jeremiah a second time: 2 The Lord proclaims, the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: 3 Call to me and I will answer and reveal to you wondrous secrets that you haven’t known.
Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet,” weeping over the destruction of his nation. As God’s prophet, he spoke God’s truth to his nation’s political and religious leaders for forty years. God equipped him to call the people to turn from their sins, repent and return to following the laws God gave them. But instead, they abandoned their covenant with God and disaster followed. No one listened to him, and his prophecies were so unpopular they put him in prison for doing what God asked him to do. Many times Jeremiah wanted to give up following God’s will, he felt hopeless, angry and abandoned. Then the Lord’s word came to Jeremiah in prison, telling him that in spite of what Jeremiah sees, God will use him to speak hope to the nations.
God hasn’t forgotten Jeremiah and he comes to Jeremiah to remind him that he serves the powerful Creator God. God tells Jeremiah that he can call on him by name, and that God will answer him and show him great things, beyond Jeremiah’s understanding. God tells Jeremiah to have hope, to be faithful, to trust and believe that God is at work in the situation, even when all seems lost. Hope for the future comes from God, for God is the God of transformation, bringing hope to the hopeless.
How often do we feel we have followed God’s will, only to find ourselves in impossible situations? We have all experienced the life changing effects of the ongoing global pandemic, climate change, political and social strife, even the tearing apart of our own worldwide United Methodist Church. It seems everything we knew to be certain isn’t and this has left us adrift in uncertainty and seeking clarity and hope.
So what do we do? We turn to God and listen. There is no clarity in frenzied action or hiding. Remember who you serve; you are the redeemed child of the powerful God of all creation and resurrection. Nothing is impossible with God. Next, call on God, God will answer. Our expectations often get in the way of hearing God’s guidance. If we’re always relying on ourselves to make everything happen, we’re not relying on God. Seek God’s forgiveness, pour out your heart to God and be renewed in faith. Finally, trust God and step out in faith. God has plans to transform this broken creation into the loving Kin(g)-dom of God. We can trust God and have hope in the future because while we see only with our own limited vision and understanding, God sees the big picture of the great things God will do through God’s loving work of transforming redemption.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you, like Jeremiah, felt like giving up following God’s will? Are you imprisoned by hopelessness or paralyzed by uncertainty at a situation that seems impossible? Remember God loves you, call on God, confess and pour out your heart and go forward with renewed faith. Trust God to work God’s will, through you and in you, to transform the world by God’s redeeming love.
Prayer: Creator God, God of our hope, forgive us when we feel hopeless, our vision and understanding are so limited. Renew our faith as we put our trust in you and guide us as we step out, surrendering our will to your loving plan, for the transformation of the world. Amen.