"If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?" (Jeremiah 12:5)
Good question, isn't it? If we are complaining already about the weariness of life, what will we do when it really gets bad?
God's reply to Jeremiah reminds me of a scene from The Wizard of Oz:
Auntie Em: I saw you tinkering with that contraption, Hickory. Now you and Hunk get back to the wagon.
Hickory: All right, Mrs. Gale. But someday, they're going to erect a statue to me in this town, and . . .
Auntie Em: Don't start posing for it now.
A week ago, on my grandson's fourth birthday, I woke up around 4 a.m. from a nightmare. A dream is just a dream, but it looked very much like the things that the book of Revelation tells us are coming-and Revelation is no dream. Whether you take it literally or figuratively, it's a lot of bad stuff.
The immediate residue of the dream was a great soberness that came over me, a sudden shame and distaste for all the worthless kinds of joking I do, the petty things that seem so hard to forgive. The Lord's words in Jeremiah are a heads-up to get more serious about life, to prepare myself for the days ahead. We prepare by living up to what we already know-the simple, garden-variety obediences of forgiving and generosity and being patient and saying no to ungodly passions.
I commented to a mature Christian friend of mine that he was brave for Christ. He told me that he looks at it this way: If we truly believe and embrace the fact that we are called to even die for Christ, then the little acts that fall short of dying are not such a big deal.
And like Jesus said, if we cannot be trusted with small things, who will trust us with the real riches (Luke 16:11)-such as the privilege of persecution for His name? And if we do not stand firm in our faith in a day of relative ease, how will we stand at all when the fiery testing comes (Isaiah 7:9)?
The signs all around us are worrisome. I wonder what kind of world my grandson will grow up in. I hope he will be ready to run with horses.
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