Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Running with Horses

If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?
                               Jeremiah 12:5

When Pastor Frye quoted this verse at the beginning of his sermon on Sunday night, he immediately captured my attention.  What a powerful verse!  And -- I don't remember ever hearing it or reading it.  When I discover a powerful verse in scripture that I've never noticed before, it's always cause for celebration because it's as if I've heard a new word from the Lord (even though the verse was there all the time).  I believe God brings these verses into our lives at the time we are ready to receive them -- and be properly awed and delighted by their truth (:

When I heard this verse, tears welled up in my eyes even as they do now as I consider the great truth in these few sentences.  Oh, how often do we complain and whine when even little things don't go right in our lives.  We sometimes become weary with our day to day routine at the workplace, at school, or at home and family responsibilities.  Then there's times we become weary in the work of the Lord in our local church and Sunday School.  Sometimes we feel like we're swimming upstream and our labors are in vain because we see so little results.  These are all among the "weary in well-doing" category and we're all guilty of it from time to time -- and, they all constitute "running with the footmen."

If we find ourselves whining about "running with the footmen," we need to give ourselves a good shake, square our shoulders, and look up to the Lord for forgiveness and for added strength and encouragement in the work He has given us to do.  And be oh, so thankful that it's just footmen we're running with -- it could be horses that we're contending with, and that is far more difficult.

God forbid I should complain about anything while I am dwelling in a land of peace.   If I cannot rejoice in the Lord during a day that might hold some mild annoyances, unpleasant tasks and less than encouraging circumstances, what will I do when the Jordan floods its banks and I am inundated with floodwaters of difficulty, sorrow and/or pain? 

This verse speaks to my heart as if God had reached down and wrote it on a note addressed to me.  I have a feeling that many of you could say the same.  I could have entitled this post, "You're Whining Again?  Really?"  If you, like me, find yourself living in the land of peace and running with the footmen from time to time, let's put our circumstances into perspective.  Instead of whining, let's be thankful for those footmen and pray that the horses keep their distance.  If the horses come, no doubt God will give us strength to contend with them, but for now, thank you Lord for the footmen in my life.

Photo note:  I was standing on a hillside when I spotted this herd of wild horses in a canyon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota.  I zoomed in and got this neat shot.  Running with these guys would be a real challenge!

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