I am a mother of two quite severely developmentally delayed boys with Autism. Though they are at the ages of 17 and 18 physically, they are developmentally at the age of around 3 yrs. We have had our struggles over the years, but as they turn into adults, our endurance is waning and the difficult moments are increasing. This is hard – very hard. So naturally we look to God for help during our struggles and I have likened my faith as holding on to it with a white knuckle grasp, not letting go for anything because I would fall very hard if I did not hold on tight to my faith. But I know there needs to be something much deeper to keep that grasp rather than a fear of having no hope at all. I have prayed for wisdom because it has been such a struggle lately. I believe the Lord has revealed what I have been missing and I found it in the book of Jeremiah!
A tough message
The book of Jeremiah, to be honest, has frightened me. God was so angry with the children of Israel for their idol worship, and it was terrifying to read some of God’s words in Jeremiah. These were His special people, and His message to them was that the judgment to come to them would be their destruction and doom. It was a severe message, and I think Jeremiah struggled with this too because in chapter 20 he questions why he was ever born. He was having a really hard time with this.
But in chapter 32, in the midst of the promised siege from Babylon, God instructs Jeremiah to purchase a field. And I love this New Living Translation of Jeremiah’s response. He says this in verses 24-25: “See how the siege ramps have been built against the city walls! Through war, famine, and disease, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, who will conquer it. Everything has happened just as you said. And yet, O Sovereign Lord, you have told me to buy the field—paying good money for it before these witnesses—even though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians.”
Our response to God during trials
Even though Jeremiah was faithful to God in conveying God’s message to the people, he was along for the ride. He also would have to endure the fate of the children of Israel who had chosen idols over God and were being punished for it. Jeremiah was told that he himself would suffer during this time. And though he did not yet understand God’s instruction to him, Jeremiah uttered these words: “O Sovereign Lord”. (Now the other translations do not use the words “O Sovereign” but in looking up the original word Lord Adonai, it is used where God is submissively and reverently addressed, which is why they used the words O Sovereign Lord in this translation.)
White knuckle faith
This to me is that white knuckle faith. Amidst the losing battle against their enemy after being forewarned by God, during the turmoil of swords clashing and the imminent loss to the Babylonians, Jeremiah tightens his grasp on his faith that God is Sovereign. He is to be submitted to and revered, and that is faith. Amidst all the struggles of life and discouragements and disappointments of events, our one solid truth to cling to is that God is Sovereign! He knows the beginning from the end, He knows what is truly good and He knows how that good will come about. And the answer to all those “why” questions in the trials lies in God’s promise of restoration in the later part of Jeremiah chapter 32 and verse 39 “And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.”
Tighten your grasp and worship
Worshipping God forever and through all the battles of our own circumstances is for our own good and for the good of our children! He is Sovereign and His purpose is clear, He wants our one heart and our one purpose to be worship towards Him.
Tighten your grasp, dear ones who are struggling through trials and difficult circumstances! Cling to the Almighty who is deeply invested in us so much so that He sent His Son to suffer the death of the cross in order to redeem us to Himself! Worship Him today!