Hybels is talking now about Jeremiah, as the third tough calling we are looking at in this session.
Things start out, and nothing seems to be going right for Jeremiah. “They just keep telling him to shut up. He gets beat up and put at the gate for all to see. He has a problem with this, and was frustrated. He cries out to God ‘you deceived me.’ Meaning: ‘This isn’t what I had in mind when I said yes to you.'” Perhaps Jeremiah was thinking things would go well, that things are supposed to go well when God calls you. He is in such despair he even curses the day he was born. “But then he gathers his wits about him, and says to God ‘you did call me, and I did say yes.'”
“He is torn between his calling, and his ache for success. I want to do what God wants me to do, and I want it all to go up and to the right. He is right at the intersection of wanting to be faithful, and wanting to be successful.”
“He says ‘I’ll keep speaking your Words.’ Has a little lower expectations in round 2, which is a good thing because people get angry and recalcitrate. This time they throw him in the bottom of a mud-filled cistern. Thrown to the bottom, gets covered up, and is left there to die. Jeremiah is bewildered by this. ‘Things should go better with God,’ right? Some time later some people had pity on him, and brought him out and cleaned him up. And he said to himself ‘I cannot deny that God called me to be his spokesman. I have to give up the aim to be successful, and just let the chips fall where they may.'”
“So he goes out again, and speaks the word of God day after day, month after month, and they never change. After all this derision of him, one day the enemy comes over the hill and carries everybody, including Jeremiah, into captivity. And some time after that, Jeremiah sits down and writes a book, a book of lament — Lamentations.”
“At the end of the lament, he says ‘throughout all of this, God’s mercies were new to me every morning.’ What he did was hard, and never successful in the eyes of the world, but he felt the sweetness of God underneath it all.”
“I’m not worthy to have my name said in the same sentence as Jeremiah. Part of what’s been a ball about leading Willow is that for most of the 35 years it’s been going up and to the right. I had an easy calling, really. I got to lead a church in a suburban area in one of the most affluent areas in the nation. People who come here are sharp and trained. When I travel internationally, when I’m with leaders of businesses or NGOs or churches who are in oppressive situations and in under resourced areas, and have to run for their life every day, I just say ‘I’m not worthy.'”
“Our world is in tough shape. The fixes are not easy assignments. The fixes are going to take decades or lifetimes. And all throughout history, and in today’s environment, God is looking for some strong-shouldered leaders who say ‘If there’s a tough assignment anywhere in this world to be attacked, I’m available. I don’t have to …”
Lost the train of thought here — just heard that Mama Maggie, who just spoke before, is trending on Twitter.
OK, back to the message here in the next post.