Recently I was captivated by the story of the prophet Jeremiah sinking in the mud of the cistern, and then getting thrown a “lifeline” by someone which eventually pulled him out of the mud. What does this story have to teach us?
I have heard of Jeremiah referred to as the “reluctant servant” -- the one who did God’s work but suffered greatly in the process. I wonder how many of us are that reluctant servant? Personally, I have spent most of my time serving God, trying to avoid suffering in the process, only to find myself also sinking in the mud, and getting pulled out of it with the support of gracious people.
God constantly reminds me that suffering is part of the plight of being His servant in the Gospels and various Scriptures like Abraham, Moses, Job, and Jeremiah. We all have our time in the “pit” when we are stuck in mud and feel like we are sinking. We all suffer -- we who are called to serve Him.
But beyond that, these stories of God’s servants also remind us that there’s a lifeline given in the suffering every time. Whether it’s a hand to help, people to support and walk with us, gifts and graces, promises fulfilled eventually, or resurrection and new life, God won’t abandon us in the pit. He won’t let us sink. He’ll be our rescuer. He'll deliver good fruit in the midst of it.
So let us be like Jeremiah and accept the offer to serve the Lord and also accept our suffering and “pit” experiences along the way -- knowing that a lifeline will be thrown to us when we need it most.