I Can’t Stand It Anymore
Pray to the Lord your God . . . that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do. Jeremiah 42:2-3
A couple years ago, my old truck developed a metal on metal grinding noise. I’m no mechanic, but as the sound grew worse, I knew that it needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. I had a meeting in the cities though, so I kept driving. As the brakes finally went out and I coasted to a stop, I realized how dangerous it was to continue. I know it was stupid, but I only stopped when driving became impossible.
This is, of course, what I did in my addiction. I knew I needed help long before I got it. I just refused help and kept on going. I could hear the horrible metal on metal noise of my life being ripped apart, but I just couldn’t stop until life became completely unmanageable. It was only then that I became willing to follow God.
This is the situation described in today’s passage. In it, Babylon carried off most of God’s people into captivity but left a remnant in Judah who now lived in oppression. God’s people had insisted on going their own way, so he used the Babylonians to correct their path. It was only in their great distress that they uttered the words of today’s passage. God help us! Show us what to do and we’ll do it!
This is often the case with us. We go our own way, ignoring God, who then must use pain and suffering to get us to the point where we can’t stand it anymore. It is often only in our profound distress that we are willing to do what it takes to change. God help me! I’ll do whatever you ask! This is of course, where we should have been living all along.
We are right to turn to God in our distress. We should always go to God in our need. If we desire to avoid the misery of our self-inflicted disasters though, we must learn to follow God right now. Daily, we must choose to abandon our path for his.