Today I chuckled as I started to read the book of Jeremiah. Reading in the English Standard Version (ESV), I find a timely command from God. Jeremiah symbolizes for me our reluctance to follow God; we make excuses and we complain. If you remember, God sends Jeremiah on a speaking assignment, and Jeremiah complains that he is too young and not a good speaker.
God, of course, reminds Jeremiah that for whatever excuse or weakness Jeremiah brings, God presence and power are all Jeremiah needs. God will strengthen him. God will give him the words to say.
And now to the funny part. I read this as I thought about staying in my pajamas all day long.
God says: “But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”
I picture Jeremiah lounging about, much like you and me on our worst days. We can sit, languishing with our excuses and fears. Perhaps we’d prefer to stay in our pajamas today. And God says, “Get dressed! Get ready. I’m strengthening you, and you’re going to be a success! I’m going to deliver you out of any hardship. Do not worry!”
So we get up. We get dressed. And we go out into the world again.