Have you ever walked into a situation where you know, you just know, people are hoping you fail? I’ve been there a number of times. My stomach knots up, my mouth gets dry and I set my listening and eye contact on laser focus. I become very still as I go into self-defense mode, deciding whether it’s time for fight or flight. Then I start working out a plan; because like most people, I don’t like to fail. At anything. And yet, of course, I have failed many times and in many ways. Sometimes it’s because I’ve taken on too much, sometimes it’s because I’ve taken on the wrong things and sometimes it’s just beyond my control and sometimes I’m just plain wrong.
Jeremiah is in a similar situation, everyone is out to get him. Even his so called friends want vengeance. Yet his response is to put his trust in God, instead of working out a plan for himself. He trusts God to walk with him, to be his champion. In other words, not just to get him through this trial so he can come back to fight another day; he wants a full scale victory over his “frienemies.” Not only that, he wants to see it!
I have to admit; sometimes it’s so tempting to want to see the downfall of those who cause my pain. Who hasn’t thought “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when ____ happens.”? But who am I to judge? What do I know of their pain or plight? That’s where I part company with Jeremiah. I pray often for strength to get me through situations where I’m feeling persecuted. I know in my own life that God has been my champion. Sometimes it has taken me a while to recognize it, but He has been my champion in ways small and large. I believe He is also in the life of the ‘other’, the false friend, the ones who hope I fail. Maybe their need is larger, more painful than mine. Maybe my failure is what God knows I need at the moment. Sometimes the unknowing is harder for me than the failure itself. That brings us full circle to trust. Jeremiah and I both trust in God as our champion. I admit sometimes it’s hard to trust and sometimes I fail at it. I want to feel vindicated…but then again…what do I know? God knows.
I don’t always need to know, all I need to know is God is my champion.