Thanks in troubled times


Jeremiah, a prophet who wrote during the closing days of the Kingdom of Judah, struggled to find meaning during the time of the destruction of the Temple. Despite all that he saw, Jeremiah expressed deep faith that God is the living water that sustains us all. He wrote, “For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when the heat comes, but its leaf shall be green; and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:8).

Jeremiah experienced tumultuous times. He was a sensitive soul who saw it all. Destruction. Defeat. Hopelessness. And yet, Jeremiah was also able to find within himself his hope, his faith that rose from the deep recesses of his heart.

Thousands of years after Jeremiah, we human beings still experience these evils: defeat, pain, and suffering. We experience the devastation of illness, the pain of a breakup of a family, loss of loved ones and more.

Many people wonder at these moments of pain and disappointment if God is indeed there at all. The question of today is different. We ask ourselves, “How does one continue to believe, to let God in, when such devastation surrounds us at times?” Pain can harden one’s heart. It can make a person cynical, mistrustful of others.

Maintaining faith in difficult times is a struggle for each of us. And yet, Jeremiah’s beautiful, poetic words strike a chord for us, who want so desperately to feel God’s presence beside us as we struggle. Jeremiah offers these words of consolation and hope, describing that a person who has faith in God can survive even the toughest times. As Jeremiah says, “Heal me, O Lord, and let me be healed. Save me, and let me be saved. For you are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).

Be Strong. And let us be strengthened by one another and the love of God in these troubled times. Give thanks for the blessing of God and His perfect peace in our midst.