Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jeremiah’s Prayer for Refuge

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved;
for you are my praise.”
~Jeremiah 17:14 (NRSV)
We, like Jeremiah, have all felt persecuted—at the whim of bullying, having been targeted through the derision of a group against us; we, as one person. It felt unfair. It felt even as if we had been abandoned; worst of all it appeared God had abandoned us.
This is the mood of Jeremiah’s prayer. He seeks relief. He implores God for refuge that only the Lord may provide.
Dealing With Attacks And Innuendos
Whether we are attacked or the butt of innuendo, or not, it can often seem like we are at odds with our world. It’s hard enough shutting off the inner dialogue such that we might actually perceive what is going on.
But then there are the real threats that turn us about and hedge us in.
These situations may not be part of our present predicament, but we recognise the threat of subversive protagonists from the past. They made our lives hell. Every conscious moment was absorbed in fear and self-consciousness. It happened a lot in our school environments, perhaps. Even again within our families, maybe.
But then there are those, perhaps us just now, who rally against an element subverting a good cause so a dastardly venture would gain traction. We imagine, just now, like Jeremiah, the struggles we have with the seditious group and its ringleader(s).
But then, again, for most of us these seem like fragmented panic-worthy moments scattered between the good ones.
Taking On The Role Of Advocate
When we are pressed in and about and have nowhere to go, we go to the Advocate, as Jeremiah did, to seek our solace. We go to our Refuge.
But when it is others who are in receipt of subversive treatment we have the role, if we should choose, to become advocates. We bat for their cause in ways not to rescue, but to expose truth. We are fair-minded, and can remain emotionally balanced. Balance is the idea of advocacy. Balance is what is sorely needed within the experience of persecution, as justice is sought and so the truth may prevail.
Life hardly gets worse than when we are caught between typhoons of skulduggery; such bullying leaves us expecting horrid abuse when we least expect it. Every moment is scarred by potential for mayhem. We never need God more than in these situations.
Our pleas for the defence of God never go to waste. When we seek to be healed and saved, we do so by seeking refuge.
As we come before the Advocate, and pray at our time of need, we ought to join our faith to pray with our faith to patiently bear the present situation. God will come. When we seek Divine Refuge, with all our heart, we enjoy Divine Refuge.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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