I’ve been amazed at some of the stories coming out of Japan after the terrible earthquake this past week. Amidst the horrific scale of the tragedy, the news is dotted with small stories of amazing courage and hope like the man who had been washed nine miles out to sea by the tsunami and survived by floating on what was left of the roof of his house. He was rescued by the Japanese navy days later.
The small ray of hope in the midst of overwhelming darkness is a universal theme. We need a silver lining around the storm cloud. We need a hope on which to cling in the midst of tragic circumstances.
It’s interesting that the editor of Jeremiah’s writings ended the volume with this footnote about King Jehoiachin. Jehoiachin was eighteen when he ascended to the throne. He was just a kid who found himself thrust onto the throne at a time of national crisis (anyone seen The King’s Speech?) as the Babylonian army was about to sweep into the city. He ruled three months and was then carried of into exile, where he rotted in a Babylonian prison for well over 30 years.
Reaching the end of Jeremiah, I feel the tragedy of the people’s rebellious spirit, the weight of Jeremiah’s woeful prophesies, and the stark reality of their fruition. Getting through Jeremiah feels like it’s been a long haul. Nevertheless, it ends with a small act of redemptive kindness for Jehoiachin, who was just a clueless kid tragically swept up in a historical drama that was so much bigger than him.
And with that, I walk away from my journey through Jeremiah reminded that even in darkness, light dawns.