There is a young man who is like a nephew to me, in fact I had to be his “Aunt” once in order to sit with his Mom as she waited in the hospital after his surgery for a football injury. He’s a positive, intelligent, and enthusiastic person. A natural leader. He comes from a close-knit family who supports him in all his endeavors.
He’s one of those well-rounded people who has good grades, excels in sports, and can sing and dance in the school musical. I’ve had the privilege of serving beside him during two different mission trips where the youth built homes for impoverished families in Mexico. This young man stands out to me because he is a kind, quiet leader who reaches out to and encourages people in a most sincere way.
It would be easy to think that life is easy for this “All American” kid, but in fact he is weathering through one of the most difficult seasons I’ve seen anyone go through. It is one of those seasons when if anything could go wrong, it chooses this time to do it. Like many young leaders he was easy to blame when things went wrong. Shortly after the season began, some important people turned against him, and it got ugly at times. Thankfully, with the support of his family, and the strength that comes from his own relationship with his God, he is coming through a stronger, wiser, and still kind person.
Fast forward to this week. I picked up my daughter’s New Living Translation Bible called The Way, and found this description of Jeremiah: “Jeremiah’s been drafted to play for a losing team deep into a horrific season, and nothing can turn the tide. But God is present.” Immediately I thought of my young friend.
Please rest assured I’m not trying to take the Bible out of context, and I’m not trying to say my friend is like Jeremiah or like the Jewish people in the book of Jeremiah. But I do find it encouraging that when I read the Bible, God reveals Himself in the book of Jeremiah. (Admittedly, when I “read through the Bible in a year,” I take 2.5 years and use a children’s Bible to get through Isaiah, Jeremiah, & especially Ezekiel!) In His Word, God shows us His heart and His unchanging character, and we can see His love for His people. He is a God of restoration. He is a God of Salvation. He is Present.
Difficult seasons are just that, difficult. I’m not going to say anything cliche here, there are simply no easy answers. As I continue to pray for my young friend, I’m challenged and inspired to watch him fight the good fight and see him grown in strength of character. He seems to already know for himself that God is a God of restoration (Jeremiah Chapters 30+), a God of salvation (John 14:6) and He is Present (Psalms 61-64;Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 11:30 and surrounding verses, the list goes on and on!) These are some of my go-to assurances in God’s Word, what are some of yours?