Friday, October 31, 2008

The gift of rescue.

Have you ever read the book of Jeremiah? I did during the two years I spent doing a one year walk through the Bible, but recently I noticed a word I missed the first time.

In chapter 1:7-8, God is calling Jeremiah and says this to him:

But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

The word that stuck out to me was "rescue."

I've always read that verse like this:

"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will help you."

I've always thought that a sign that you are doing God's work, that you have listened to His voice and made the right the decision is that things are peaceful and easy. God is there after all, shouldn’t that verse say, "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will comfort you?"

But it doesn't that, it says "rescue." It reads like God is saying, "Look, you need to go do what I am asking you and it won’t be easy. I'm not calling you to safety and comfort, I'm asking you to go into a situation that's going to be dangerous and difficult. Where I am calling you will be so horrible that it will require rescue, but I will provide it. That's what I am going to give you, rescue. But in order to give you the gift of rescue, I need you to go somewhere that requires it and I'm going to be upfront, that won’t be fun. Because if it was, rescue wouldn’t be necessary and that's the gift I want to give you. So …."

I don't know where you are or what God's doing in your life right now but I do know this, if you want to receive the gift of rescue, which I think is one of God's favorite gifts to give us, you have to go somewhere and do something that requires it.

(If you read this post and think, "but I don't know what my call is!" read something I wrote called "Trying to find a cause." I promise you already have one and it's the most important one you can have.)

22 comments:

Heather of the EO said...

After reading this, I sat here and did that thing that many Christians do. I said, "but I don't know what my calling is! I don't know where to go. Yes, I'd like to be rescued, I actually really would, even if it's hard, but my life is really boring right now, blah blah blah..."

And then I remembered that I'm a wife and a mom and it's really really not easy. I'm a mover and a shaker right here in my daily life, being met with a "call" to "go" in small ways every single day. I have great opportunity to "grow the kingdom" right here in the hearts of my boys.

And lots and lots of times I remember I need to call on God to rescue me, use me, to be my energy and His love.

Just a little input for the other mamas out there :)

Prodigal Jon said...

Heather -
Great point. I actually added a link to another post based on your idea. Thanks for sharing that
Jon

Anonymous said...

Awesome.

Paul said...

I looked up 'rescue' on dictionary.com - to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger or evil. Sweet.

Beth said...

Heather-
Great comment! Being new at the stay-at-home mom thing, I have to remind myself of this every day. Especially the days where I feel like I've done absolutely nothing but survive and I start really missing my job.

One evening a few weeks ago at church, we had a reflection time just to pray and be quiet with God, and He gave me the most beautiful picture of my three children grown up and running to Him. No matter what I do for God, I just had this sense that what my three children will do will be far greater. That was so comforting and definitely a rescue moment.

Whatever the circumstances, Jesus is enough.

KristenRea said...

The Lord used that passage just this week to confirm a calling in my life, but I missed the "rescue" word. Sheesh, it makes my new assignment sound all the more ominous/intimdating now! Thanks for pointing that out. :-/

jenn3 said...

This is great. So many times I hear Christians talking like everything should be easy and joyful, and if it isn't, you must be out of God's will. I know that isn't true, but it's good to be reminded.

Courtney said...

Thanks, Jon. It's funny you picked the word "rescue" -- if I could pick one key word from what I was praying for last night, that'd be it. And we have a God who rescues. :)

Rachel said...

Great post! It reminded me of an awesome hymn we sing at my church that always keeps me in check every time I start thinking "Okay God, I'm trying to do your will, why isn't my life easier?" Hope you like it :)

They cast their nets in Galilee, just off the hills of brown;
Such happy, simple fisherfolk, before the Lord came down.
Contented, peaceful fishermen, before they ever knew
The peace of God that filled their hearts brimful, and broke them too.

Young John who trimmed the flapping sail, homeless in Patmos died.
Peter, who hauled the teeming net, head-down was crucified.
The peace of God, it is no peace, but strife closed in the sod;
Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing—the marvelous peace of God.
... William Alexander Percy (1885-1943)

Rob said...

Jon,

Another great post...and though SCL is more popular, I think 97SWG is your best work. I appreciate your honesty and transparency as you walk with God. When I read these, I feel like God gave them to you just for me to see.

Glad to see you posting again here.

kirsten said...

how easy is it to miss such an important word? frankly, i don't want to be in a situation that requires rescue, but i find myself going to these places again and again. and again and again, God shows up and proves to me that He is good: faithful, good, and ever-present in times of trouble.

thanks.

Cara said...

Jon, this is so prescient for me and my husband right now - you have no idea! This and your "Jesus Juicer" post at SCL.

I often wonder when I'm going to "get it" and turn into a super-Paul-like Christian that can say "I have learned whether in plenty or in want... to be content". But I don't. I whine, I cry, I snivel, I doubt. All I can say is Thank God He doesn't give up on me, cause I sure get sick of myself.

Thanks for this ministry - you have a depth and a humor that are clearly gifts from God.

Be blessed.

^^int said...

hey~! I'm reading Jeremiah right now...up to chapter 38 or 48, it's very depressing yet some of the unfulfilled promises of God are sweet.
plus People do love 29:11.

Joe said...

Jeremiah happens to be one of my favorite books in the Bible.

I just thought of something, In 1:7-8, God tells him "I will rescue you". In 20:7-8, Jeremiah cries out "You seduced me!". God could have responded, "No, I already told you."

But He didn't.

Jeremiah still praised God.

Christian said...

Jon, thank you for that insightful thought.

Like Rachel it reminded me of a song. The first verse gets me every time.

My goal is God Himself, not joy or peace,
nor even blessing but Himself, my God.
'Tis His to lead me there, not mine, but His
at any cost, dear Lord, by any road.

So faith bounds forward to its goal in God,
and love can trust her Lord to lead her there.
Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard
'til God hath full fulfilled my deepest prayer.

No matter though the way be sometimes dark.
No matter though the cost be oft-times great.
He knoweth how I best should reach the mark.
The path that leads to Him, it must be straight.

One thing I know, that "no" I cannot say;
one thing I do, I press towards my Lord.
My God, my glory here from day to day
and in the glory there, my great reward.

Anonymous said...

I'm a missionary and today was probably one of my worst "I want to go home" days ever. My head is swimming of thoughts of quitting and going back to the states. Sometimes the culture gets to me and life gets pretty sucktacular. I am so glad you posted this today. God didn't promise me a life of comfort or one that makes sense to me, but He did call me to do what I am doing. When it gets to be too much to bear, he will rescue me. Thanks for the reminder!

Mary said...

Rescue -- like you I've never seen that. Rescue is exciting, thrilling, the stuff of great adventures.
Like you I once looked for that great cause, but the Lord just wanted my heart. I am giving it to Him daily (it's a daily process, sometimes it's an hourly process) and He has me on one grand adventure. Some days are thrilling, others are difficult, all are a blessing.

Over the last ten plus years He's been grooming me for this adventure -- for such a time as this.
I so wanted to do something big for God -- something yellow flashing sign big! But I finally started to realize, worldly big doesn't mean big to God. He looks at my heart. That's what He cares about.

Your post just made my heart sing - not my voice, that's not a good thing (me singing, nope). Thanks

Oslerfamily said...

Jon we just got back from a medical mission trip to Haiti. I feel rescued, I feel loved and always , always safe because God told me to go. I am so, so glad you are writing again. I used your posts: Know before you go and Code Adam for devotions. God gave you a gift.

Ming said...

Thanks Jon, I needed that, you have no idea how much I needed that...

Anonymous said...

keep on preaching.

It helps to block out the sound of what's coming at you, and distract you from the vibration.

-Jeremiah

Brin said...

A reader of my blog sent me a link to this post just this morning. It knocked me back on my heels. What powerful insight into a powerful, rescuing God! I needed it today.

Thanks for taking the time to write this...

Brin said...

A reader of my blog sent me a link to this post just this morning. It knocked me back on my heels. What powerful insight into a powerful, rescuing God! I needed it today.

Thanks for taking the time to write this...