(OK, not what Roger's talking about here, but pretty funny anyway! and it's Friday!)
If you have ever been around new construction in progress you know of the mess the ground becomes during all the work. It doesn’t matter if it is a single home, a whole subdivision or a corporate building, when the building is going up the ground is a wasteland.
But, in time, when the work is done, lawns are planted. Ornamental trees and plants are put in, and what was once desolate becomes a beautiful landscape.
Jeremiah is quoting a promise from God. What does the area look like at the time of this writing? What will it look like? When will this happen?
Sometimes it is difficult to envision what the future will bring. It is hard to anticipate the beauty that can exist when you are looking at the here and now and the desolation that may exist.
We experienced it in past houses we have owned, houses that needed repair. We experienced it as the new parsonage began to take shape (it began as a hole in the ground with cement blocks in a cow pasture!).
We can all experience it if we look at the spirituality of the world around us. The number of un-churched people – those who do not know God and do not appear to be interested in God – seems to grow daily.
Most mainline churches have declining congregations. Current trends in mainstream America are far from the Christian ideal.
Our own faith may look like a shambles from time to time. We may have doubts. We may have fears. We may have worries. We may wonder why we can’t have the faith that we should.
Our first response should be to remember that God is faithful. He has patience with us, and we need to be patient with His plans.
We need an attitude of makrothumia with our faith. We need to be patient with ourselves and with our world. But it should not be an idle patience. We need to have an active patience – makrothumia – a persistent, dogged, driving faith that moves forward and deepens each day. With an attitude of makrothumia we can cling to the hope and promise that God offers, of pleasant fields, of answered prayer, of heaven on earth.
DAILY CHALLENGE: What can you use to remind yourself daily that God will fulfill His gracious promise?