The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”
Jeremiah 30:3 (NIV)
I know it’s the natural pessimist in me, but when my team goes down early I’ve historically been quick to bail on them. Turn off the television. Go find something else to do. There’s no sense in wasting my time watching my team get thrashed. It’s not going to get any better.
Except when they make a spectacular comeback.
Along life’s journey I’ve actually gotten better at sticking with the game. As Yogi Berra might have said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Sometimes the best of things happen in extra innings after a rain delay.
In today’s chapter there’s a continued shifting wind in the ancient prophet Jeremiah’s message. It’s been chapter after chapter of nothing but apocalyptic judgement and doom. Now, over the past few chapters the momentum of the game has shifted. As the actual events unfold, God’s message through Jeremiah turns to hope, redemption, and restoration. But you’d never know it if you bailed out in the first few chapters.
This morning I’m thinking about life’s long game. In a world that’s rapidly changing, the discipline required to hang in there, stick with the plan, and have faith in the process is harder and harder to come by. I find myself pressured to want instant results and immediate wins. My experience is that life rarely works out that way. The joy of redemption is made possible by the long slog through wilderness and exile. Shortcuts are simply an illusion that cycle me back to where I started.
If I want to reach redemption, I’ve learned that I have to stick it out when my team is down early and the outlook is bleak.
One thought on “Sticking It Out”
I’ll punish you, but fairly.
I won’t send you off with just a slap on the wrist.’
I’m thankful we serve a just and fair God. As the Creator of the universe, I’m amazed He hasn’t wanted to “clear the slate” and start over more times since the Flood. As we parent teenagers, offering grace is a nearly daily discussion and occurrence. I’m not sure how I would be able to dig deep enough to find it some days, other than to be reminded of God’s even deeper grace for me. Thank you Jesus.