“For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Yesterday we finished the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. We began reading Jeremiah on August 5, and let’s be honest, it was quite a long slog. For nearly 40 years (and 52 chapters), Jeremiah speaks a challenging word to God’s people, as he announces the decline, fall, and exile of the Kingdom of Judah. Jeremiah is sent by God to proclaim the end of an era, which is a challenging task for a prophet to do.
As Jeremiah shares the Word of God, he does so with an anguished soul, hence the tradition that he is the “weeping prophet”. And weep, Jeremiah does, for the Word of God to be proclaimed to the people of God is a word of pain, judgement, and death. This is a difficult word for God’s people to hear.
Though it is important for us to see that the difficult word is not the only word. You see, sprinkled throughout the Book of Jeremiah are small drops of hope. Hope that the Exiles will return from Babylon. Hope that Jerusalem will be restored. Hope that a descendant of King David will once again occupy the throne.
So many times, our way forward is marked by difficulty and despair, which is why we need those small drops of hope to lead us to a new place. Small drops of hope give us the strength and courage to take the next small step into God’s great promise of a future filled with hope.
So where are you sharing those small drops of hope? And if you’re not, why not? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear about the small drops of hope that you are sharing in your community.