Think About This: “Our grief that there should be so much evil is often mixed with peevishness on account of the trials it occasions us. And in this our favoured day, and under our trifling difficulties, let us consider how we should behave, if called to sufferings like those of saints in former ages.”—Matthew Henry
Sharks in the Kiddie Pool… What?
Posted on September 29, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” – Jeremiah 12:5 (NASB)
(Authors Note: This was written sometime back in 2013. To this day I still use the “big dogs” and “kiddie pool” analogies when discussing how men need to get off couch and get to gettin’ on with moving forward with God’s purpose in their lives. But we do get stuck from time to time and hopefully this Freedom Fighter encourages you today to keep contending for the prize that calls you heaven bound.)
How do you run with the big dogs when the little pups nibbling at your heels frustrate you? How do you swim with the sharks in the ocean when you’re still in the kiddie pool with the shrimp? How do you call yourself an enlightened giant when you contend apologetic arguments with spiritual midgets? These could have been some of the questions asked of Jeremiah had he been a street preacher on the streets of Atlantic City these days. Pastor Colin Days of the Second Baptist Church of the same city challenged us to re-examine ourselves through the beginning of Jeremiah 12.
When I got back to the text, I saw those infamous questions that we all ask ourselves at one time or another. “Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?” (Jeremiah 12:1 ESV) As Christians we really should be able to rest in God’s grace. After all, if it was sufficient for the Apostle Paul, it should be that much more encouraging to us. But to be real about this, when we see things around us going well for the un-churched, while we can’t even fill the gas tank, we can stray into these kind of questions… Or should I call them complaints?
I will confess that at times I get into this funk of watching a whole-wide wicked and deceitful world gleefully prosper while the numbers before the decimal point in my checking account get fewer and fewer. Even if I look for an encouraging word on the One-Eyed Zombie King (that’s for television folks), I find alleged preacher’s testimony on how they turned a pair of shoes to a suit – and then be blessed with a check for what appears enough to pay-off the national debt, or at least my share of it. HMPH!!!
And it doesn’t have to limited to finances, as I am alluding to. Remember there is a need to examine the whole of the text, especially YHVH’s response in verse 5. There are 3 things here to point out:
- Failing to keep up with mere footmen – The Big Dogs!!
- Failing in a land of peace – can you say “Home, Sweet Home”?
- Making it in the thicket of Jordan.
If you cannot contend with the first two of these things, how do you expect to crossover a river that is at flood stage? For me there was 27 years of substance abuse and failure to achieve godly manhood.
Ya know, when we are in the dark concerning how God divinely orders His creation we must keep our thoughts CAPTIVE to the obedience of Christ. We must keep on believing that He would not do the least bit of wrong to those who are His. When we find it hard to understand any of his dealings with us, or others, we must look to His truths as our first principles, and abide by them. His divine judgment will pull the wicked out of their pasture as sheep for the slaughter. Our God knows how our hearts are toward him. We need to rest in that…so do I. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28