“Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals, for it has been given into the hands of the Babylonians.’” ~Jeremiah 32:43
This is the beginning of Holy Week! This week “Restoration and the Wilderness” will be the topic of study and conversation. Yesterday, we celebrated Palm Sunday and depending on where you live the weather could have interrupted your plans. I live in an area where we experienced a winter storm that dumped 10 inches of snow on the ground. Most church services were cancelled due to road conditions and snow removal. The author provides the story of Jeremiah, God had called upon him to bring a word of judgment against his own people. Jeremiah lived in difficult times and he witnessed the destruction of his nation. God calls Jeremiah to purchase a plot of land as a sign of its coming restoration. Jeremiah bought the plot of land even though it was a bleak and uninhabited piece of land but Jeremiah was obedient to God. God’s message was that the time of sorrow would not last forever.
As I am lamenting on the past few weeks and the week in front of me. I am reminded that just like Jeremiah and for the Israelites, times of sorrow do not last forever and that hope is alive! During the past few weeks we have read about the Israelites in the wilderness, Jesus in the wilderness and we have also looked at our own experiences of being in the wilderness. I have shared some of my sorrows with you and I think they are worth repeating because I have witnessed and experienced life beyond my sorrows. When my mom passed away, I was filled with anguish, anger, frustration and I thought my life was over. With time and support of friends and family the sorrows became less weighted on my heart, some of those old feelings surface from time to time, I think of them as windows to the past. I can look at my sadness and sorrows in the distance and I never want to chase them away because they are a vital part of my being. With great sorrow comes great joy! I believe that with all my heart. I loved my mom and the person she was and is; I don’t think I would have this new-found sense of self-awareness or self-resilience if I had not experienced such profound sadness of losing my mom. The same can be said of relationships that have not ended as I would have liked for them to, again I’ve learned lessons I’m not sure I would have grasped if things had been different. I used to think it was a lack of maturity on my part and I’m sure that played a role but overall I think I was not living authentically. I am currently at peace with my life and my life choices. I seek God’s direction for my life and my priorities have shifted, I now see life through a new lens, with more clarity and more boldness.
Are you facing challenges in your life right now?
Remember the words of David, Psalm 30:5, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” ~Psalm 30:5.
This week will be filled with a plethora of emotions from joy and celebration, to unbelievable accusations and falsehoods, leading to undeniable sorrow and guilt, all with the promises of redemption, restoration and resurrection! As we remember Jesus, His ministry, His teachings, His brotherhood and family, His companionship with His disciples; the temptations by the devil; the false accusations made out of fear and greed; His betrayal by Judas; His separation from His Father while on the cross; His death all leading to that Glorious Day of Resurrection! I’m emotional just thinking about all these things that Jesus willingly accepted because of His great love for each of us.
The author (Katie Z. Dawson) writes this, “When things around us appear bleak, we, too, can invest in the future we long for. In the midst of turbulent times, I’m choosing to invest in relationships with people who don’t look or think like myself, so that in humility, I can grow and learn and generate a compassionate heart.” I agree with this wholeheartedly!
Where are you being called to invest in the Kingdom of God?
Breath Prayer: Lord, bring forth all the good you have promised. Amen.
~Blessings and Peace~
Pamphlet: The Sanctuary For Lent (By: Katie Z. Dawson)