“He has hedged me in so that I can’t get out” Lamentations 3:7
There will be times in our lives when we are in situations that we want to escape as quickly as possible. This may be one of the reasons some people suffer depression which may lead to taking their own life. They feel trapped and see no hope of being delivered from their painful situation.
Jeremiah’s situation included spiritual pain with the physical and emotional pain. His cry reveals that he was suffering because he had done all that the Lord had asked of him. His present affliction and pain was the response to his speaking, writing and doing as the Lord had asked.
He had proclaimed God’s word but the people had chosen to reject it and in rejecting it they took to persecuting God’s messenger. This is still the way of those who refuse to accept God’s word. That was bad enough but he also lived to see Jerusalem’s destruction. None of this needed to have happened had the people received the warning and returned to the Lord.
As we walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to proclaim His gospel there will inevitably be times when we find ourselves in situations where we are being persecuted in some way and feel trapped. We want to escape. As far as we know we have been faithful in our walk with Jesus and sharing the Gospel. Yet, like Jeremiah, the response has been hostile.
The same can be said in regard to being a leader in the church. We long to see Christians respond to the Lord and grow, but they seem seduced and trapped by worldly values and ways. This is akin to Jeremiah weeping over Jerusalem. Jesus also wept over Jerusalem.
Many years ago, a man I knew well took his own life as a result of just such a situation. He had led many to Christ, but he became overwhelmed with grief over the worldly ways of some leaders of his church. It appears that he lost hope that it could be recovered. His response to the situation was not the right one – but it does show the depth of grief he suffered. Jeremiah grieved and Jesus’ grieved over Jerusalem’s failure to return to the Lord.
Jeremiah did not lose faith in the Lord, because he knew that it would pass. “For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He cause grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies” (3:31-32).
There will be times when we feel trapped with no way out, even though we have been faithful to the Lord. The grass may look greener somewhere else; the hunt for that greener grass may simply be a desire to escape a situation where we feel trapped. All the doors ahead may appear closed for now, but at the right time the Lord will open the way for us.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6.