Jeremiah 12:5 – “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” NIV
In my previous blog, I shared about some of the trials that people went through in the Bible and how God stepped in to deliver them. In this blog, I want to address another viewpoint on tribulations, your part to stand!
Jeremiah was a prophet of Israel during some of their dark days. Their kings at that time were considered evil kings who did not do right in the eyes of the Lord. They worshipped the Baal and led the people to do the same. During these seasons, God sent them prophets to encourage them to do the right thing. However, they refused to do the right thing and continuously attacked Jeremiah as he tried to get them to obey God.
One day Jeremiah was ranting to God about how the evil men were prospering and it was okay for Him to go ahead and destroy them. God spoke to Jeremiah and said, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? This is an interesting analogy, for most people cannot outrun a horse. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible! Isn’t it?
Most people know that horses are fast! But did you know that a horse at full gallop only has endurance for about 2 1/2 miles of running, and at a trot he can travel about 15 miles? When God made this analogy He knew that! And yet He told Jeremiah that if he couldn’t handle a foot race, he’d never be able to run against a horse.
This was God’s way of saying that if Jeremiah couldn’t handle the normal trials and tribulations of life, how would he be able to handle the greater issues? There are some things that happen as a result of just living. Few us of get to pass these trials by: raising kids, being talked about, relationship issues, and disappointments to name a few. Painful, but not catastrophic. These types of challenges are what we call running in the foot race of life. But there are other events that can sweep you off your feet because they are so great, so hard to bear, to deal with, that could be considered “running with the horses”, catastrophic; and every one don’t survive them!
God knew what Jeremiah was going through. He knew there were things that made his life uncomfortable and not much fun. But God also knew what was ahead, and what He was trying to get Jeremiah to see, that there was more to come! I feel for Jeremiah! Who wants to be called to a ministry that is filled with rejection, heartache, and threats on your life? No one! But that was what God had called Jeremiah to, and he knew it. Why else would God tell him to fix. his face like flint? Paul was another one. The call on his life was of such a nature that he had to face the reality that he would some day be martyred for the kingdom. And it didn’t seem to faze him one bit! He said for him to die was gain! But that’s not the life that we signed up for! No! We want a life of tip toeing through the tulips! But it was never promised to us!
David said, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Adversity may be designed by the devil to cause you to fall apart, but David said if you let it, you have small strength! There’s an interesting point about racing with a horse I’d like to share. If you both start out at the same gate, at the same time, the horse will leave you in the dust! The race will look like it is over before it has begun. But if you keep running, you will find him at his 2 mile marker resting, where you can overtake him and win the race. Just like the classic, “The Tortoise and the Hare”. Paul said it like this, the race isn’t given to the swift, nor to the strong, but to the one who endures! The tragedy or trial may seem to wipe you off your feet, but after you catch your breath, and realize that God is with you, you can get back up, and turn a tragedy into a triumph!
Children of God!!!! Stuff is going to happen! There’s no getting around it! Some will be worst than others! But everything that the devil is throwing at you, you don’t have to catch! Remember that song, “If you catch hell don’t hold it! And if you’re going through hell, don’t stop”? (Ron Kenoly) Just keep on moving in Jesus! Keep standing! Keep fighting! Keep trusting! Don’t stay there! Don’t get bogged down by it! Get up and find your strength in God! Because in the end, you win! He always causes us to triumph! Running with men ain’t easy, but if you quit now, when things get really tough, you won’t stand a chance against the horses! Wonderful Jesus!