S (Scripture): Jeremiah 21:8 “But tell the people of Jerusalem that the Lord says, ‘I will give you a choice between two courses of action. One will result in life; the other will result in death. 9 Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians who are besieging it will live. They will escape with their lives. 10 For I, the Lord, say that I am determined not to deliver this city but to bring disaster on it. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon and he will destroy it with fire.’”
O (Observation): Jeremiah was considered a traitor for uttering these words. And while they seem full of condemnation, The Lord does offer life! While the life they lived is over, because of their sin, The Lord offers a new way…and new life.
A (Application): We don’t want to admit it, but we constantly yearn for the way things were. That was our orientation. We liked the old way, because it was familiar. But sometimes, our current orientation offers little to no fruit. Such was the life of Israel in Jeremiah’s time.
When one way is over, and a new way is coming, one typically spends some time in a state of disorientation.
From an orientation into disorientation. From single to married. From married to single. From no kids to kids. From one career to another. From one state to another (metaphorically and/or literally). From career to retirement. From retirement back to work.
God’s people (then and now) are called to discern the will of God’s Spirit. If one’s current orientation is not bearing fruit (like in Jeremiah’s time), be prepared to allow God to bring you through the disorientation into a NEW ORIENTATION!
You will travel through the valley, but God will be with you, just like God promised to be with Jeremiah through his struggles.
Orientation >> Disorientation >> New Orientation
Where can you see this applying in Scripture? In the Church at large? In your congregation (if you worship regularly with a faith community)? In your family life? In your personal life?
P (Prayer): Lord, we know that when you call us to a new orientation, you have good reason to do so. Please hold our hand in the times of disorientation, as we attempt to figure out what it is you’re up to. Amen.