Swimming against the currents.

Swimming against the currents.

The Courage to Swim Against the Current – Jer. 38:1-13
What we see here in Jeremiah is how to swim against the currents in order to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Where am I going with this?
Lets explore what happened here.
The prophet Jeremiah (38 v2-3) made a prophesy ” “So says the Lord,
‘He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by famine, and by
virulent disease (pestilence), but he who goes out to the Chaldean’s [of
Babylon] will live and have his [own] life as a reward and stay alive. Thus says the Lord,
‘This city will certainly be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will take it.’
When the Princes’ heard this prophesy by Jeremiah, they wanted to denounce it immediately, they wanted him killed.
They didn’t want to loose their land, they didn’t want to believe in this prophesy. So they begged the King Zedekiah to Kill Jeremiah.
The king didn’t order him to be killed, but instead told them to handle it themselves.
What did Jeremiah do?
he complied.
The princes’ lowered him into a cistern and left him there to die.
Jeremiah complied. He swam again the currents, metaphorically speaking since this cistern was dry and muddy, he said nothing, he did nothing, he did not fight, did not resist, he did not do anything. Nothing.
Had it not been for Ebed-melech the Ethiopian (Cushite), one of the eunuchs who was in the king’s palace, whom pleaded to free Jeremiah, he could have died. Ebed-Melech found some garments and went to the rope which brought Jeremiah down, and helped him out of the cistern.
Think for one second what Jeremiah was probably doing as he awaited his fate.
What would you have done?
Would you have fought back?
Screamed for help?
Try to escape?
Try to climb out of this cistern filled with mud?
Claw, and Climb and eventually slid back down for your futile attempts to save yourself?
I am sure many would have attempted.
Many would have fought back, Jeremiah I believe didn’t.
Jeremiah is known for being a man who had direct communion and reverence with God.
He prayed and cried a lot!
He prayed.
I believe in the bottom of the cistern He prayed.
He spoke to God.
God calmed him.
God said trust me kid, I am going to get you out of here, and when you come out you will deliver this message for me.
If you continue to read the rest of Chapter 38, you will find yourself reading that after he was taken out, the King asked to speak with Jeremiah.
He spoke to the king, he told him his prophesy, he even told him how he could be saved when the Chaldean come to take over.
Only God could have provided a dutiful prayer warrior with the calm, patience, and words in a time like that.
I believe, in the bottom of the cistern, He prayed.
Despite the temptation to panic.
Despite the unknown.
He put all his faith and trust in God.
God not only provided Ebed-Melech to get him out, but he also provided him the words he needed to speak to the King.

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone

understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24

Jeremiah understood that. He understood only the Lord could take him out of his situation.
Many of us waste away our lives in the fear of the unknown, in fear of the “inevitable” in fear of our circumstances.
We should be living in our faith, trusting in our faith.
That regardless of what happens.
Whether we are dumped in a muddy cistern or a cistern fill with water.
We need to have faith in Abba father.
We need to swim against the currents….. The currents might be pulling us to panic, to attempt to save one selves, but swimming against the current means to put it all in God’s hands. Trust in God, have faith in God.
Sometimes we need to do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
In trusting God, despite our circumstance, God can show you that 1) I am here 2) I will provide 3) keep trusting in me.
Ebed-Melech is a great example of how God used an ordinary person employed by the King with extra-ordinary courage. It took great courage to stand up before the King to plea for Jeremiah, when all the odds were heavily stacked against Jeremiah. All the odds were heavily stacked against him for even pleading for his prophet. Yet he did. He too swam against the currents. He was instructed by faith and courage to swim against the currents on behalf of a man of God. Ebed-Melech took a risk. He faced being criticized, being punished or even landing a spot next to Jeremiah. He risked it. He took a chance. He spoke against the evil deeds done by the prince’s accusations against Jeremiah.
Like Jeremiah, we all face criticism at one point or another. Just know that being criticized is not a problem, because it will always be there, now if you develop a positive way of dealing with it, then you know you are already swimming against the current.
“I do the very best I can, I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is
said against me won’t matter. If I’m wrong, ten angels swearing I was
right won’t make a difference.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Though this article gives the life cycle and process of a salmon; if you can pur your self in place of the salmon in this story you can take light the message in swimming against the currents.
For instance, in the article it mentions the following questions to place things in perspective:
How do we cultivate enough presence to identify these ‘personal obstacles’ where we get caught in our own eddy’s?
As we continue to swim upstream can we learn not to overly identify with the obstacles as they arise?
What tools do we each find that supports us to stay afloat when the
intensity of illusion and suffering seem to take up the space of the
ocean inside of us?
How how do we take these questions from the article to help our spiritual growth and swim against the currents?
How do we cultivate enough presence to identify these ‘spiritual obstacles’ while swimming against the currents and not giving in to the flesh or social norms?
As we continue to swim upstream can we learn not to overly identify with the obstacles as they arise, can we put our trust and faith in God and let him provide the solution?
What tools do we each find that supports us to stay afloat when the
intensity of our circumstances and suffering seem to take up the space of the
ocean inside of us?
How can we rely on His word, faith, and trusting in him to continue to swim, despite the criticism, despite doing nothing and saying nothing regarding the situation?
Father God I thank you today, tomorrow and always for all that you do and continue to do for our families. We are facing a hurdle right now and we are trusting in you to guide us. Many expect us to swim with the currents, but swimming against the currents towards you is always a better option. Lord I ask for you to send an
Ebed-Melech our way to help is in this situation. Lord I will trust in you for guidance and to overcome. For I know in you victory shall be ours. Amen.

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