Day 43: Seeds among Thorns
Wait a second! I didn't realize that Lamentations was so short!
Why have I been intimidated by Lamentations all my life? It's sad, yes, but also, short enough to get through and also, there's that big chunk of positivity that I mentioned Day 41. So, compared to the length of the book, I'm not gonna actually do that math, but that chunk of positivity has got be like 20-30% of the whole book.
The things you learn reading the Bible through.
Reading the beginning part of Ezekiel reminded me of a lot of things. The weird imagery reminded me of Revelation and Stranger Things. The resemblance to the book of Revelation is probably more relevant, but I watched Stranger Things last night so that's fresh on my mind right now.
Anyway, the resemblance to Revelation is actually frustrating to me. It's hard for me to read and take it seriously. I feel convinced there's no way for me to get my head around it so I don't even want to attempt.
When my small group was studying Revelation last year my friend Cassie and I decided to meet up every week and attempt to draw what we read. We didn't keep up with that project, unfortunately, but the few times we did draw it was actually very helpful. Sitting down to actually draw them forced us to not only read it but pay attention to the details. It was really cool to see how different our pictures ended up, we had different artistic perspectives on the same passage.
I didn't have time today to draw what I've read in Ezekiel, but I was reminded that these passages are worth examining and looking at the details. I may not be able to get my head around what the vision actually looked like or what it meant, but it can minister to me when I pay attention to the details.
When the passage started getting into the more intelligible storytelling I was struck by a few lines.
Ezekiel 2:3-4 and 3:14-15
"He said: 'Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites...the people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn'...The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. I came to the exiles...I sat among them for seven days--deeply distressed."
I think about the prayer I prayed a day or two before my job search last week. I was thinking about The Parable of the Sower. I knew God was sending me out into the world to make an impact for Jesus Christ and I prayed that God would send me to good soil. From the interactions I've had thus far, I think it may be probable that my new place of work is good soil. Of course, only time will tell.
But I can tell you I don't feel like God has told me already that they are NOT good soil. I don't feel like God has told me that He has sent me to obstinate, stubborn people. I cannot imagine what it would be like to enter a new place, go live with new people, already knowing that I am going to always stand out and no one will listen to me.
"Son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious."
Dang! I do not blame Zeke for feeling deeply distressed and bitter and angry. Man! What a mission to be sent on. It ain't easy to be a prophet.
But life's not about being liked and happy; it's about God. Creator God. And these sufferings will not last, He is our life, our future, our forever.
Definitely interested to read about Zeke.