“This morning I woke up feeling pretty dangerous.” Baker Mayfield
A few days ago this quote was going viral on the internet. Well, at least it was going viral among Cleveland Brown and Oklahoma Sooner fans (of which I’m one). As quotations go, it will never garner accolades for its eloquence. I doubt it will end up in any “greatest quotations” books. And other than in Cleveland and Oklahoma, it probably won’t have much staying power. But in terms of expressing unabashed self-confidence and cockeyed optimism, it can’t be beat. I’m thinking of adopting it as my mantra.
As Christians, hopefully we wake up most mornings feeling “dangerous.” We gird ourselves in the armor of God, as the Apostle Paul instructs us, and we feel invincible, ready to take on anything the world or the powers of darkness throw at us.
But what about those mornings when we feel defeated—more endangered than dangerous? Those mornings when we want to cower under the bedcovers or, like the “mighty warrior” Gideon, hide in the bottom of a winepress?
In a recent Bible study of the Old Testament, I found this verse: “How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Psalm 137:4
Seems our friends the ancient Judeans knew a lot about feeling defeated. Despite many warnings and messages of impending doom from God’s prophets, those “stiff-necked people” found themselves exiled to a place where they felt anything but dangerous. In fact, they felt so “un-dangerous,” so completely beaten and stripped of hope that they couldn’t feel or express their joy in the Lord. In the midst of their fear and dejection, God sent the prophet Jeremiah with a message: The Lord hadn’t forgotten His covenant people nor His “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Chapters 29-32 of Jeremiah are sometimes referred to as the “Little Book of Comfort.” This might seem a strange title for the work of a prophet often described as “weeping” or “suffering,” but I encourage you to read them. Those chapters are replete with promises of redemption and restoration. Along with other prophets, Jeremiah directed the Judeans’ hearts back to God and sustained them through seventy years of Babylonian captivity. If Jeremiah’s words could do that, can they not sustain God’s modern day children during those times we struggle to sing the Lord’s song? When we find ourselves in a foreign land? When we’re feeling not so dangerous?
Dee Dee Chumley
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