“Go and buy yourself a linen waistband and put it around your waist” …. So I bought the waistband …. “Take the waistband that you have bought …. and hide it there in a crevice of the rock .” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord had commanded me. After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the waistband from the place where I had hidden it …. Jeremiah 13:1-7
Sometimes the Lord calls us to do things that make no sense. Jeremiah must have known that quite well. Or maybe he didn’t know it so much as that he didn’t question God.
God said, “Do this, Jeremiah. Now, do this. Now this.” And Jeremiah did it. And he records that between different directions and instructions, there were many days. There was plenty of time to wonder and question what in the world was God doing, and did he even hear God at all?
And in those many days, there was plenty of time to live the mundane days of life. What did a prophet do all day back then when he wasn’t writing down a word from the Lord?
Anyway, after many days, God would finally speak. He’d reveal His word to Jeremiah, something to pronounce, something not very popular with the people, the religious leaders, or the king.
Jeremiah was not well-liked. His life made little sense. I don’t think even Jeremiah really understood what all was going on. How could he? When I read it, it’s in hindsight. I know the whole story. I know how it ends.
And of course God knew how it would end. But Jeremiah didn’t. He just did whatever God told him to. And I’m pretty sure tying on a linen belt, taking it off and burying it, then unburying it didn’t make a lot of sense. But he did it. And God spoke.
He honored God and God honored him. But even then things didn’t go so well for Jeremiah with the people around him. So even God honoring him didn’t necessarily look like favor. Even the way God honored him probably didn’t make a lot of sense.
Jeremiah, though, kept going. He kept doing what God told him to do. He kept speaking what God gave him. He trusted God.
He trusted God no matter how crazy it seemed. He trusted God no matter how little he understood. He trusted that God knew what He was doing.
God knew the end from the beginning. He still does. God knows my end from the beginning.
Unlike Jeremiah’s story, I don’t know how my story ends. When it comes to my story, I’m more like Jeremiah was in his, not knowing how it ends. And my story doesn’t always make sense either.
So am I like Jeremiah when it comes to following God’s direction? Am I like Jeremiah when it comes to listening to my Lord? Or am I like his contemporaries, following my own rules, my own ways, ways that make sense, ways I can figure out, explain, seemingly control?
Or will I do whatever God tells me to do? Will I do it without hindsight, without knowing how it ends, but trusting that God knows what He’s doing?
Will I follow my Lord without questioning Him at every turn? I know He calls me to things that don’t make sense. So will I take Him up on it? Will I honor God?
Sometimes God calls us to things that don’t make sense. Jeremiah lived it out. He’s one who’s gone before by faith — a witness in that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). A witness for me to live it out.
I will live it out by faith. I will trust God even, and especially when things don’t make sense.