Archive for August 10th, 2021

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Jeremiah20.9Jeremiah 20

Interior Crisis

“Jeremiah accuses Yahweh of forcing him into a position where he is a laughingstock and an object of mockery (v.7); Yahweh is requiring him to deliver a message of doom that events of history have so far failed to confirm”. (Mays 561)

When we see doom arriving and announce its coming only to be laughed from the room, we know that we are prophesying. When we speak truth to friends or colleagues as God asks of us only to find those relationships severed, we know that we are prophets in our present world. When we caution loved ones about an impending disaster only to be mocked or ridiculed, we know that God is near. These experiences will easily give rise to an interior crisis in which we feel that we have been duped by God; and as the prophet Jeremiah says . . . I let myself be duped. It is when our hearts are broken that we are closest to God.  It is when our confidence is shaken that we have open ears for God’s word. And it is when we most feel like retreating from all that threatens us that we are asked to allow our interior crisis to bring new growth.

“The reaction of [Jeremiah’s] audience to [his] message of doom is stated somewhat more generally than in other complaints, but it fits the picture gained from earlier ones . . . they wish to eliminate him and his rival message from the nation’s future.” (Mays 561-562)

Our own circumstance may be dire as is Jeremiah’s – someone may or may not wish to eliminate us – but any time that we suffer rejection the sting is piercing. The pain of ridicule may last for years. The trauma of denunciation may endure for a lifetime. The effects of derision may color our world forever.  Yet, God accompanies us in our real or imagined isolation; Christ guides us as we navigate the road to new life; and the Spirit heals and consoles as we struggle for transformed wholeness.

You duped me, O Lord . . .

Rather than hear these words as a sign of failure, let us hear them as a signal of new life. Rather than struggle to keep ourselves from falling, let us decide to rise again in new life. Rather than turning away from our tormentors in anger or shame, let us step into our interior crisis with courage. And let us thank God for the gift of transformation.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 561. Print.

For a reflection and prayer on allowing ourselves to be duped by God, enter the words Being Duped by God and A Prayer for Those Willing to be Duped into the blog search bar.

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