If Only . . .

Read: Jeremiah 7:1-8

Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. (v. 3)

The movie Leave No Trace is about a homeless father and daughter. The father, a veteran, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. When he is offered a stable home, he rejects it in favor of life on his own terms. After watching the movie I thought, “If only he could trust those trying to help him.”

Throughout the Old Testament, God offered his people a life of stability and abundance. They rejected it in favor of life on their terms—invariably settling for less than what God wanted for them. We do the same, and we continue to suffer for it. God responds not by rejecting us, but by repeating his original offer: life with him, on his terms. If only we would change our ways.

In his famous sermon “The Weight of Glory,” C. S. Lewis remarked, “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased” (The Weight of Glory). In his mercy, God interrupts our ambitions to interpose his better way. His plans for us are far greater than any we could ask or imagine for ourselves. If only we would trust him. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, offer the Lord your life and invite him to give you his.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.

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