This morning's Scripture portion in my Bible read-through calendar for the year juxtaposed Isaiah 20 and Jeremiah 28-30. Reading these two in one sitting illuminated common themes I might otherwise have missed: true hope vs. false hope (or trust) and true prophets bringing bad news.
In the Isaiah reading, Israel has put their trust in African military might to rescue them from Assyria, and Isaiah gets to depict the disappointing news that their allies will not protect them. In Jeremiah, a false prophet preaches quick liberation from domination by Babylon, and Jeremiah is commissioned to tell the people of Judah that restoration will come, but it will take a lifetime, so they need to settle in and work for good in the land of their exile. In both these cases, contrary perhaps to our expectations, the true prophecies say things will get worse before they get better; the true hope is in God, not in human helps or a happy turn of events. The ultimate expression of this true hope is in Jeremiah 30:22:
"'You shall be My people,And I will be your God.'"As I was considering asking for your prayers for my next doctor's appointment Friday morning (asthma/allergy doctor), these readings changed the content of my request. The Scriptures showed me that my trust is not as true as it needs to be on the medical issues we're still working out. Last week the lupus doctor seemed frustrated because my medication level was up and my activity tolerance was down. His frustration discouraged me, and I realize now that I was hoping in my doctor and hoping for short-term good news.If God moves you to pray for me, would you pray first for true trust? That my hope would not be in the skill of my physicians, my own analysis and presentation of symptoms, medications, or compliance with doctors' instructions, but in God's character and Word? He is the one who gives wisdom and insight to the doctors and who ultimately determines the efficacy of their prescriptions. He has not promised me good health now, in this body, but He has promised good. He has also promised that the tough times are not for always, and that body-soul-spirit wholeness is coming, even if it takes a lifetime.Also, would you pray that my life, attitude, and words would proclaim truth about God? True trust will (or should?) produce a hope and peace that don't vary with the circumstances but stay firmly fixed on God's constancy and faithfulness. My community is pretty small right now, but I long for God to be glorified in my interactions with my doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and family and through this blog, notes, and e-mails. Sometimes that requires courage to say what is needful even when it is not what is desired. It always requires confident dependence on the Lord, and so I ask your prayers..As always, thank you so much for sharing your day with me in this place. Thank you also for your prayers. Please feel free to let me know in the comments or by e-mail how I can pray for you, too.