Summary: Like Jeremiah, we end up in some slimey pits in our lives, but God wants to use these for our growth.
Purpose Driven Life #25
February 7, 2004
Jeremiah was a prophet to the ancient people of Judah. What is a prophet, you might ask? He was someone who got messages from God and took them to people. Jeremiah got messages from God and did his job and took them to the people that God told him to take the messages to. Who wouldn’t? If you knew exactly what God wanted of you, you’d do exactly as you were told, wouldn’t you? I hope I do, and, I know, you hope you are doing this in your life. So, did Jeremiah.
In the story of Jeremiah’s ministry, we read of something rather troubling that happened to him- this was certainly troubling for him and is, also, troubling for us, many 100s of years later.
Jer.38.1-6- we break in on the story that is outlined, more completely, in the previous chapter, and we see what people did because they didn’t like the message. There is always a tendency to ‘shoot the messenger’ when the message isn’t to our liking, and Jeremiah got caught in the cross hairs, so-to-speak. See where Jeremiah ended up. He was put into an empty cistern- might have been an empty well, for that matter- but it had some unpleasantness at the bottom. Down there, where Jeremiah ended up, it was a horrible slimy pit. Probably all of us have been in slimy mud at some time in our lives. In the summer, when we walk by a pond or slough, it can be kind of greasy and slimy. I remember a slough/pond on the farm I grew up on and, in the spring, I would use this to launch my annual raft, once the ice broke up. As it did, and the ground around the slough softened, it got slimy. Around the dugout, where our cattle got their water in the pasture, too, in the summer, after the rain, it got slimy, and I’d go tromping out there with my rubber boots, and enjoy the ooze- was never one to enjoy getting into it with bare feet, though.
Fortunately, Jeremiah didn’t have to stay in that slimy pit for very long.
Today’s question is: What are your slimy pits? We all have them. We all have those places where we’re let down into in life and which are not as pleasant as we’d like. What is yours? What are yours?
Maybe it’s your health which isn’t all you’d like it to be. You might have an ongoing or developing health condition that you’d like to have lifted from you- or you’d like to be lifted out of that pit, as Jeremiah was. Maybe yours is some family problem or problems that plague you. Your pit might be that of too few dollars at the end of the month- this is a common one, for several reasons, not all of our own making. You’d like to be lifted out. Yesterday, I was in a high school and a number of the teachers had bought a ticket together on the big lottery draw from last night- and they were talking about how they were going to win this time and I heard some discussion about what some of them would do with the winnings. We all do dream, don’t we, and God has put that there.
Maybe your slimy pit is a poor teacher you have at school, and you’d like to be out of that class and in one with a better teacher. You know you’ll be lifted out at the end of the year, but that can seem like a long way off, yet. Your pit might be older age. The golden years are often quite tarnished and not all people would like. People plan and look forward to retirement and then don’t have the health to enjoy it, or the money to do what they had hoped for, or they end up with the grandchildren coming home and needing to be cared for, so the ‘freedom’ they had looked forward to is not there. Perhaps unemployment or underemployment is your pit.
I know that you have at least one that you are in- we all do. We all have those slimy pits, now. And we’ve had them and we will have them- they are part of our lives.
How do you feel about your pit? How well are you handling your pit? I’m sure you wish for someone to come along, like they did for Jeremiah, and to remove you and lift you out, but, possibly for long times, you’ve been in that pit. Some of our slimy pits are pretty awful- I know that. You wrestle with doubts, sometimes, in the dark of the night, or the privacy of your own thoughts, from your slimy pit. Sometimes you doubt God and you wonder about him and why you’re in such a messy place.