“How shall you contend with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5)
Jeremiah, a young man facing opposition and growing increasingly impatient in the process, complained to the Lord about the injustice in life — the wicked prosper, and the righteous suffer, and God seems to sit back in silence. “Lord, I have a problem here – why do the wicked prosper, and the faithless always succeed?”
Have you ever wanted to say something to God along those lines? Before you do, you should hear how He answered young Jeremiah’s complaint.
“Jeremiah,” the Lord said, “if you get tired in a race against people, how can you possibly run against horses? And if you complain in fields of ease, what will happen when your encounter the high tides of the turbulent Jordan?”
There God goes again, speaking in riddles. What on earth does this mean? He is telling Jeremiah that tough times are ahead, and these present difficulties are only preparing him for the steeper climb. And the question God puts to him is the same we ourselves must answer in our ever darkening world.
And even though the wicked may seem to have it made now; in that day when their world comes crashing down around them, will you have what it takes to stand?
If we cannot handle the inconvenience of the smaller thing, then how shall we meet the challenge of the greater thing? If we stumble over that which is now before us, how shall we advance to that which is yet beyond us?
To be sure, the Lord wants us to make measured moves to greater levels of opportunity and responsibility, but the climb is beset with necessary challenges that can only be mounted by an unflinching faith. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said, “Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.”
None but those who contend with horses.