Containment and Spiritual Conversation | Religion

The book of Jeremiah is filled with conversations between the weeping prophet and God.

Among the many conversations between them, there was something different at the beginning than that of chapter 33.

Let’s look at the text. While Jeremiah was still locked in the courtyard of the guardhouse, the Lord gave him this second message: 2 “This is what the Lord says, the Lord who made the earth, who formed it and established it, whose name is the Lord: 3 Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets which you do not know about things to come” (New Living Translation).

The first verse quickly provides context, letting us know that Jeremiah is in prison. It is confined to a particular place, for a specific period of time. As such, its mobility is limited.

Yet there is one thing that cannot be restricted. In the second half of the verse we see the Lord speaking to Jeremiah. Although Jeremiah’s confinement limits his hands and feet, his ears can still hear. More so, confinement never disrupts the dialogue of God. Notice I said from God, because God has a way and will make a way to get instructions, information, and encouragement for us.

The other side of that is dialogue with God, where we take center stage. The interesting irony is that sometimes we take confinement in one area of ​​life to mean confinement in all areas of life. It’s like when one thing stops, so does everything else. This is not the case, and the first verse proves it. Granted, I’m not God, but all things considered, I don’t think God would speak to Jeremiah if Jeremiah wasn’t listening. Therefore, we can take his example and apply it to our lives. God always speaks. The question is are we listening?

In verse two, Jeremiah engages in a moment of fear. After reading the verse several times, this time I was in awe of it. Jeremiah and I considered the greatness of the Lord who created, formed and established the Earth. It may not seem like much but think for a moment: The Lord who made, formed and established the Earth decided to speak to Jeremiah and decides to speak to us, despite our confinement. This should make you want to raise your hand in thanksgiving!

The conversation begins in verse three. Another interesting irony appears, in that the Lord has spoken. And the words of God were an invitation to Jeremiah addressed to us: Call me. It’s so simple. Call to God. Call on God. Call to God. Whichever way works best for you, do it. Why? The answer is in the next part of the verse: I will tell you. While we appreciate God speaking to us about hidden things, having God tell us anything is yet another reason to be continually grateful.

Natural boundaries do not stop supernatural conversation. They can be the catalyst for starting conversations. Think about it: while in some cases we shut down when we are confined, in other cases we call on God. Therefore, limitations of fear, stress, finances, employment, relationships, health, or any other limitations should not prevent us from calling on God.

God is always ready to speak to us. We must accept the invitation to the conversation that will set us free in more ways than we know.

Rae Karim is a pastor at the First Christian Church of Honolulu

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