If you read very far into Jeremiah it becomes quite clear that he was a very emotional individual and didn’t mind letting God and country know what he was feeling at any given moment. It is also evident that Jeremiah was passionate about declaring the Word of God to anyone he came in contact with. This was a passion that God planted deep in Jeremiah’s heart.
Jeremiah was doing exactly what he was called to do in sharing what God wanted him to say to the nation. He did it consistently and with fervor. And yet, he found himself the target of mocking and the subject of household jokes. This was all happening because Jeremiah was following the call of God in his life.
In Jeremiah 20:7-13, Jeremiah slams on the brakes and sends a complaint directly to God. He skips the HR department and goes directly to the manager making his case known to God. He tells God that he feels like he’s been misled and abandoned by God. He tells God that he’s now being made fun of constantly and he hates it. He tells God that people are watching his every move waiting for him to slip up so that they can destroy him.
God hears. But as the chapter develops, it seems as if God just lets Jeremiah talk his way through his complaint to find his way back around to his calling.
Jeremiah contemplates shutting down his ministry for the sake of his wounded feelings and saving his own reputation. When Jeremiah contemplates saying “Forget it!” he realizes that the message God has called him to share would become “like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.”
God’s calling on our lives won’t always be a path of praise and acceptance of the message we are sharing. No matter how much grace and love we wrap the Word of God in, there will be those who reject the message and seek to destroy the messenger. Some of the fiercest pushback may even be from those in the body of Christ. Scott Distler calls these brothers and sisters in Christ “well intentioned dragons” and they can be the ones who strike the deepest with their attacks and leave the wounds that hurt the most.
There will be attacks, stone-walling, and mockery on the journey where God leads, but soon we will realize - along with Jeremiah - that God is with us like a fierce warrior. He sees you. He hears you. And even when it feels the heaviest and darkest, He is cheering you on as you follow His calling. Keep your head up, keep your face pointed towards Him, and keep moving forward!