Demo of Julie's Bible Reference Library

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When You Weep

Treasured friend,

Jeremiah—I’ve always held this particular prophet of the Most High God in the highest esteem. In fact, if you asked me who my favorite Bible characters are, Jeremiah would be up there in the top ten. For sure.

Surprised? Let me tell you why.

God called Jeremiah as a young man (we who think of him at all often remember him as a scraggly bearded old man thrown in a pit by a jealous and angry king’s henchmen—but in the first chapter of his prophetic book, he is the young son of a priest). Not only did God call Jeremiah, but He chose for this tenderhearted youngster a mighty difficult road. One that would cause the prophet’s heart to break time and time again over the lot of God’s people in an era of great terror—an era when the nation would be overrun with enemies because of the people’s grievous sin.

Being faithful to this calling would overwhelm Jeremiah to the point that he would be remembered to posterity as the weeping prophet.

I can relate to a weeping prophet. I can relate to heartbreak—especially the heartbreak of watching those I love suffer. In our cases, as caregivers of our aging parents, the suffering is a result of the normal scheme of life on this fallen planet. No matter—the emotional exhaustion of the tragic circumstances we can’t control too often sends us off to a pit of weeping every bit as deeply as Jeremiah.

But it isn’t just Jeremiah’s weeping that grabs me and won’t let go. It’s the words God spoke to and through him that speak to me. God didn't fault the prophet's frequent questions of, are You sure about this God? Did You really mean for this to befall Your people? (Sound like any of your prayers? Could be some of mine on nearly any day of the week.) Instead, God spoke calm and comfort to the prophet--counter-cultural calm and comfort. Comfort that sustained the prophet through moments when the storms of chaos swirled and uprooted his entire world.

So, this morning, I got out one of my old, well-worn, crumble-spined Bibles and scanned the book of Jeremiah for just a few of the words God spoke through the weeping prophet— that have touched my heart and sustained me over the years. I share them with you in hopes you’ll catch a fresh, reassuring glimpse of the way God is at work in the most difficult circumstances of your life.

Jeremiah 1:7; 9  But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.” … 9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.”

Jeremiah 1:19 I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

Jeremiah 29:12-14 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD”.

Jeremiah 31:16-17  Thus says the LORD: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD …17 There is hope for your future, declares the LORD.”

Jeremiah 31:25 “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

So, my caregiving compatriot, you just heard if from God’s own lips: there is a reward for your work; there is a hope for your future.

And, even more than that, I especially love that last word from Jeremiah 31:25—about how tenderly God says He’ll treat the weary and languishing soul. I know weary. So do you. Let’s covenant together to take that promise from God into our caregiving tasks today. Let’s commit to each other that every time we feel exhausted and overwhelmed—weary of the journey—we’ll let God know about it, at that very instant.

God, I’m weary. Soul weary. You promised to satisfy and replenish me. Please, do that for me in this exhausting moment. And, I ask You to do the same for every one of my caregiving friends who are feeling the same fatigue just now.

When God answers your prayer, will you drop me a note to let me know about it? Your gift of refreshment from Him will be an encouragement and uplift to me.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

© 2011, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com