Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!”
The prophet Jeremiah was born in a Levitical family and he had been trained from childhood for priesthood. The Lord chose him from birth to be a prophet and eloquent called and him was for still this a child service (Jer.1:5). Jeremiah complained; he said he was not eloquent and was still a child (v.6), but Godencouraged him to accept and fulfill His mission for forty years during times of great turmoil in Israel. Jeremiah witnessed the death of the reformist king Josiah,opening a new door to disobedience and idolatry. Despite serious divine warnings, Jerusalem was attacked and destroyed. The temple was torn down and the people made captive and driven to Babylon.
Jeremiah’s life was full of emotional ups and downs; the moments of discouragement were succeeded by moments of joy. He was insulted, thrown in a mud pit… even his own colleague, the chief of the temple, priest Pashhur had him whipped, put in stocks and imprisoned for uttering a divine message. Precisely from this episode we took today’s verse. No wonder Jeremiah was discouraged by such injustice. The legend tells the story of Satan putting up a sale of several tried and tested tools of his temptations. He displayed lies, pride, envy, greed, hate…all marked with their price. One tool with very high price occupied the most prominent place. The Devil explained: «This is the most useful tool: discouragement; when I apply it, the other tools work much better.»
Judging from his writings, the prophet Jeremiah was repeatedly tested by discouragement and dismay. But God’s presence in his life was an infinitely superior tool against the enemy’s stratagem. Jeremiah’s writings are full of reliable promises and encouraging messages. Memorize them or write them down on cards, place them in your pockets and read them in difficult moments, «Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart» (Jer. 15:16); «Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…for he shall be like a tree planted by the waters» (17:7,8); «Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed» (17:14); «But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One» (20:11);
«For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope» (29:11); «For I will turn their mourning to joy» (31:13); «For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men» (Lam. 3:33); «l have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you» (Jer. 31:3).