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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Slippery Slope

by John Berry

25 February 2013

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I hear many whispering, Terror on every side! Report him! Let`s report him! All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.
Jeremiah 20:10, NIV

It’s been very wet here in the UK over the last few months, and as a result the ground has become quite saturated and muddy which makes it slippery. Our site and facilities team found this out the hard way last week, when one of our tractor mowers was working near our lake and the driver got a bit too close to the bank, with the result that the machine plus trailer plus driver headed down the bank at speed (well, slow tractor speed) and tractor and driver got rather wet! It took the other tractor and a group of men with a rope to get them our again. Fortunately there was no harm to the driver, but the tractor isn’t quite back to normal yet.

Jeremiah was in danger of slipping down the slope into despair and giving up. In this passage quoted, he is confessing his anguish, and the fact that he feels cheated by God into being God’s prophet. Perhaps as we read it, we can understand how Jeremiah’s friends felt – waiting for his foot to slip so he will give up and stop prophesying hard things. But on the brink of this Jeremiah utters a statement of faith in the God he is complaining about, even singing a song of praise, albeit returning to his former moaning straight after!

It is so easy to sink into despondency, especially in hard times. We know in our spirit that God won’t let us down, but the circumstances of life can overwhelm us emotionally and drag us down into the ‘lake of despair’. Before we know it we are heading out of control into that place of discomfort and humiliation. Praise God for those around us who are ready to draw us out into the better place through their love and prayers.

We must never assume that the ground we are standing on is dry and safe, unless it is the truth of the Word and our relationship in Jesus. The enemy loves it when we slip up and fall down. Perhaps this is just another reminder to be on guard, be aware and keep testing what seems safe, especially when we are near the edge of what we know to be a danger area in our lives.

Prayer: Father thank You for those who come near to us in our times of need and crisis. Help us to be discerning about where we put our trust, and to be ready to help others in their times of difficulty. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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