Life on Earth; November 19, 2019


Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

I have always been struck by this verse. It sounds like something one of my drill instructors in Army basic training would have said! Basically, it comes across as, “Quit grousing. You haven’t seen anything yet.” In Jeremiah’s case that was quite literally true, because he would see the fall of Jerusalem and would eventually be stoned to death in Egypt by his own countrymen. He is considered one of the great prophets, yet his reward for his faithfulness was almost entirely in the next life rather than this one. Being God’s representative and spokesman isn’t an easy path! However, our entire lives on this earth are literally just a moment compared to eternity. Blink and they’re over! Their whole point is to give us an opportunity to seek God and choose to commit ourselves to Him in obedience. If our focus is on the “fun stuff,” we eventually discover how empty that is. If our focus is on the suffering, we are miserable indeed. The key to enjoying it all is to recognize from Whom it comes, and that He is love itself. I probably quote John 16:33 as much or even more than any other verse in the Bible. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The state the world is in is the result of mankind’s sin, but that doesn’t negate the character of God. We are to focus on the One who created us and loves us and who has a marvelous plan for us that extends for all eternity. When we have that focus, we can even enjoy the ride!

It was not through any conscious choice of my own, but I seem to have had an awareness of this truth for much of my life. I have certainly had some down times, and at one point I actively wanted to die, However, in the total balance of my life I have been aware of the incredible grace of God. I can’t say I’ve earned the good stuff that’s come my way, but there’s been a great deal of it. That’s not to say that I am wealthy or famous or even “successful” by this world’s standards, but it is to say that God has walked with me (or run with me, as in this verse) and has taught me to fellowship with Him. That’s worth more than I could possibly put into words. I still mess things up with my stupidity, missing out on various blessings, but God is incredibly patient with me. As it is, I choose to enjoy each day as it comes, giving God thanks and praise, and look forward to eternity with Him, with none of the distractions of this life.

Father, thank You for Your amazing grace to me. Help me be an open channel of that grace to all those around me, tearing down the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) by speaking Your truth in love, for the liberation and salvation of many, and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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