Summary: These walls seem to come in different forms but they do have a purpose. (1) They are there to test us. (2) Walls challenge us. (3) Walls offer us a goal to reach. A popular speaker has asked more than 100,000 Christians across the country this one que
Breaking down the Walls
“What to do When you Hit the Wall”
Jeremiah 20:7-10, 14-18, 11-12
Distance runners, those who run marathons especially often experience what is called hitting the wall. A marathon is a 26 mile run and they say it usually happens around mile 20. Your energy runs out, your legs can become numb, muscle coordination is difficult and doubt begins to set in. And you wonder, will I ever reach the finish line? One runner described hitting the wall this way. He said I felt like an elephant had jumped out of a tree onto my shoulders and he was making me carry him the rest of the way. In life, all of us go through times when we seem to hit the wall. Sometimes we see it coming, many times we are caught completely off guard. Hebrews 12:1-2.
These walls seem to come in different forms but they do have a purpose. (1) They are there to test us. (2) Walls challenge us. (3) Walls offer us a goal to reach. A popular speaker has asked more than 100,000 Christians across the country this one question: is there anyone present who has never, ever been depressed? The answer: through all of his speaking engagements not one person responded. Christians get depressed too. They always have. From the writers of the scripture, even the spiritual giants of the Bible, very few people have been able to completely escape it’s effects.
Look at David, the psalmist. In Psalm 42 he wrote, “why am I so discouraged? Why am I so sad? Now you might say, well most of the spiritual leaders in the Bible never had trouble with depression did they? After you look at the OT, the easier question might be to ask which leaders didn’t struggle. If you read Numbers, chpt 11 you hear Moses cry out, “God I wish you would kill me. I can’t bear leading these people any longer. All they do is grumble about how good things were back in Egypt. Please just kill me. Remember that was Moses. Then we find Elijah. He had gone to battle with the false prophets and won the battle by calling down fire on a water logged altar and the entire altar was consumed. Following that he ran into the wilderness crying out to God, saying just kill me! I’ve had it with this business of being a prophet. Then Jonah. Jonah is a preacher. What does a preacher want more than anything. For people to respond to the message. But strangely enough Jonah preaches with such great power ane he becomes depressed afterwards. Why? Because his preaching was so successful.
Then of course we encounter Jeremiah. This is perhaps the worst case. He seems to have hit rock bottom. But at the same time, of all the OT prophets who does Jesus quote more than any other prophet? Jeremiah. Listen no man in history could have possibly served God with greater integrity in more difficult circumstances than the prophet Jeremiah. Yet this chapter shows just how depressed this man was. This book, Jeremiah sort of reads like a diary. As we read it it is like we are looking over Jeremiah’s shoulder as he writes It is as though he is not really writing to any particular audience...it is like personal thoughts between Himself and God. It was not a letter.