Jeremiah 14: 1-6 (NIVUK)
1 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 ‘Judah mourns,
her cities languish;
they wail for the land,
and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
3 The nobles send their servants for water;
they go to the cisterns
but find no water.
They return with their jars unfilled;
dismayed and despairing,
they cover their heads.
4 The ground is cracked
because there is no rain in the land;
the farmers are dismayed
and cover their heads.
5 Even the doe in the field
deserts her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights
and pant like jackals;
their eyes fail
for lack of food.
The passage from Jeremiah conjures up such an image of need.
Imagine sending thirsty people in a drought ridden land for water — the hope that would be there of thirst quenched…
Only to have them return later with jars unfilled.
Think of the despair…
As they cover their heads, mourn and seek God;
Questions, accusations perhaps rising to the fore —
Why? Where are you God? So much for all of those promises you made to us your people!
Despair, thirsting not just for water but also hope? For God’s presence?
How often in our lives are we in the barren places?
The places and times of despair, of loneliness, or hopelessness, where we wander, seemingly lost and where we thirst … spiritually … in need … sometimes waiting a long time before that thirst is quenched …
God seemingly distant — on the edge of our sight… just out of reach?
Life giving Spirit,
Seep into us,
Assure us of your nearness no matter how distant you might seem
drought to abundance,
our empty to filled,
our despair to hope
and our mourning to joy.