“We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! . . . When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me . . . . The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:15, 18, 20).
For some reason, I began thinking of Jeremiah 8 a lot last week. It is such a hard passage, because it describes evil that I would never wish on anyone. On top of that, it seems to masks this evil in a heart felt cry from a prophet who saw it all and in a God that seems to not care. But God does care.
I had someone ask me today, “How is your family?”
I replied, “Fine,” and then I thought, “But everyone around me is not fine.”
Of Course, “God knows.”
But is that just my cop out answer to things I don’t understand, “God knows”? Is that it?
Look to the cross, not to minimize the pain, but to see that God does know and He does care.
He does not just know what He is doing, God knows pain.
When I think of suffering in the world around me, I often categorize this suffering onto a scale of 1 to 10. I lost my dog, that is a definite “1”. My friend just went through something I will never understand, that is a “10”.
And then I look to the cross, and my scale fades in its horrors. The Son of God is beaten beyond recognition. He is spit upon, punched, stripped naked, nailed to a cross, lifted up in shame for all the world to behold His miserable death, as a symbol of Roman domination. And God does not just stand there and watch. Instead, He turns His back on His Son!
This is not to diminish or delegitimize what we go through. But the truth is this: the worst thing that ever happened to a human, happened to Jesus the Son of God, who was not just innocent, He was perfectly righteous! And God allowed this evil, this pain, this horror for a reason that we do not understand.
Because God loves me and you.
Now let’s go back to Jeremiah’s cry, because, in all reality, it is God’s cry. Jeremiah 8 is not in our Bibles, because a prophet felt pain. It is in our Bibles, because God felt pain. The cry of Jeremiah 8, or even Lamentations, is God’s cry! Jeremiah is simply the vessel that God chose to reveal His own tears.
“JESUS WEPT” (John 11:35).
It is the shortest and most powerful verse in the entire Bible! And so, we look to the cross. It reveals a God who does not just know what is going on, He knows what we are going through!
- God knows.
- God cares.
- God gives grace to heal.
So, let us not run from God. Instead, let us run to God.
Grace and peace.