Tuesday, November 30th
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard: Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
~ Jeremiah 33:1-3 (NRSV)
In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair. ~ Howard Thurman
The birds of hope are everywhere, listen to them sing. ~ Terri Guillemets
Jeremiah was a prophet who spoke both words of warning (before the fall of Jerusalem) and words of hope (during the Babylonian exile) to the people of Judah. Jeremiah is known for his reluctance to answer God’s call to serve as a prophet because he felt discouraged and incapable. In this passage from chapter 33, God promises the imprisoned Jeremiah that God will reveal the “great and hidden” answers that Jeremiah needs. God continues in the next passages to promise the good things that are to come – giving Jeremiah the encouragement and hope to persevere.
When trying to make difficult decisions, do you ever sense that you have the answer – but it is one that you are reluctant to face – so you continue to seek advice, hoping that someone will affirm you are right, or relieve your guilt, or reassure you that all will be well? I recall the years leading up to my eventual divorce, when my search for direction was a desperate one. There were no easy, happy paths to take, and so I was reluctant to choose any of them. I prayed, read the Bible, journaled, talked with friends, sought counseling, read books – all the while hoping for one clear answer from God.
One quiet night, a sudden and fervent prayer came: “God, I know that whatever happens, I will be okay because you are with me.” A profound feeling of peace overwhelmed me. I did not yet have a clear answer or direction, but I knew that God would be with me and my family, loving and helping us through every step on whatever path lay ahead. That was enough to give me courage and hope for the days to come.
Today, let’s listen for the hope found in the quiet presence of God. Let’s listen, not for answers or directions, but simply to notice that God is with us, loving us, in this very moment. We will be listening for the quiet voice of hope, paying attention to the things we hear – a word that suddenly resonates, a song that touches our heart, a soft sound in the distance, a whisper from our inner soul.
Listen. Where might God be sharing a word of hope for you today?
Prayer: Ever-present God, open my ears to hear all of my reasons for hope today. Keep me aware and attentive so that I may listen well for you, if only to comprehend your infinite yet quiet presence with me. May my quiet spirit become the hopeful presence of Christ, as we enter into the noisy distractions of daily living. Amen.