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Cranky

by | Aug 28, 2023 | Weakness

“O LORD, You know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your forbearance take me not away; know that for Your sake I bear reproach … O LORD, God of hosts. I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because Your hand was upon me, for You had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before Me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as My mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.” (Jeremiah 15:15, 16b-19 )

Poor Jeremiah. He went through so much—speaking as God’s prophet, only to be thrown in a cistern, get kidnapped, and have his life threatened. And though Jeremiah loves the Lord with all his heart, he is angry with Him too, sometimes. As he says in verse 18, “Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?”

Now that’s going a little too far. Jeremiah knows perfectly well that God has never failed him, no matter how often he’s been put in danger. But Jeremiah feels like a hissing cat, and he takes his anger out on the one nearest to him—on the Lord.

Oops! But God is patient with him, and calls him back to the true facts of the matter. God is not the problem here—the sinful people are. And Jeremiah needs to adjust his attitude. “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before Me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as My mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.”

What good is a prophet who allows his hearers to sway him? Not much. But what prophet, even the greatest, can stand against the pressure of angry, dangerous people? None at all—unless the Lord Himself lives in him.

And this is true for us, too, isn’t it? In ourselves, we have no power. As Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b). No pastor, no parent, no teacher, no Christian of any sort can do the jobs God has given to them to do on their own. The work is too much for us, and the pressure of the devil too strong.

But with Jesus, things are different. We are still weak; yes, but the One who died and rose again for our sake is living inside us. Those that strike at us get a big surprise when we don’t immediately keel over and give up. Not because we are wise, or great, or clever, or powerful—but because God’s Holy Spirit lives in us, and He does His work through us.

We Pray: Dear God, do Your work through me, especially now, when I am too weak to do what is good on my own. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on August 29, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you ever get crabby with God? When?
2. Should you try to hide your anger and crankiness from God, or not? Why?
3. Tell the story of a time when you consciously leaned on God’s strength to do something you yourself could not handle.

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