July 14, Saturday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Tina Hsu. Tina, a graduate of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), currently serves as a staff at the Church of Southland, Anaheim, California.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“The Tension Within”

Jeremiah 20:14-18 Cursed be the day when I was born; let the day not be blessed when my mother bore me! 15 Cursed be the man who brought the news, To my father, saying, “A baby boy has been born to you!” And made him very happy. 16 But let that man be like the cities, which the Lord overthrew without relenting, And let him hear an outcry in the morning and a shout of alarm at noon; 17 Because he did not kill me before birth, so that my mother would have been my grave, and her womb ever pregnant. 18 Why did I ever come forth from the womb to look on trouble and sorrow, so that my days have been spent in shame?

Jeremiah 1:4-5 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

When I was in elementary school, I was signed up to try various sports, including badminton. After my first lesson, I wanted to quit because when I tried to hit the birdie coming towards me, it flew straight towards my forehead and got stuck in my hair. Being of low-esteem, I felt an incredible sense of humiliation in front of the people I was playing with, since they didn’t seem to have any trouble with the sport. I often wanted to quit sports and I would end up quitting very easily when I felt like it was a little bit hard.

In contrast, Jeremiah never quit even though his complaint in this passage sounds like he wanted to just walk away from his calling. But, his confession and complaint come from a heart that was wrestling with the tension of his calling as God’s prophet to the nations. He may have been close to quitting, but he never actually quit. He could’ve excused himself from serving in this office when the distress became overwhelming. He faced opposition and loneliness and felt sorrow over Judah’s unwillingness to return to God. Nevertheless, he remained in his place because he knew that he was set apart since birth for this purpose. Even though “cursing” the day of his birth is a strong statement, I think only someone who is so committed to God’s call would wrestle and cry out to God like this. If he didn’t regard himself as God’s chosen instrument and respected it as a holy call, he wouldn’t have wrestled to this point. I admire how he faced the cost of obedience and poured out his honest and unfiltered anguish to the Lord. In a way, it was the closest way to surrender himself to God again and to be fully committed and hidden in Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God desires to strengthen us when we are serving Him while feeling completely helpless and weak.

This morning ask, the Lord to strengthen you and to reveal to you what He is fulfilling in you through the various situations and roles He has called you into. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that you rejoice over the day of my birth. Not only did You set Your heart to love me, but You also appointed me to fulfill a unique purpose in my life ever since I was in my mother’s womb. Because true obedience comes with discomforts and costs, I pray that You would strengthen me to persevere and to abide daily in You. Help me to glorify You with my life. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Daniel 5-6

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