You drew near when I called on You; You said, "Do not fear!"Lamentations 3:57(NASB)
How powerful, comforting and heart-warning are these words written by Jeremiah, the weeping prophet of Israel, who grieved over the shocking demise of Jerusalem and lamented over the ruins of David's golden city. "You drew near when I called on You," Jeremiah declared. "You said, "Do not fear - Do not be afraid!"
The invisible, omnipresent God is never far from any one of us, but His presence ofttimes seems distant, during times of deep distress and anguish of heart. But God in His wisdom often waits for His distressed children to recognise that their deepest heart-need is the Lord Himself, and that their severe lack, can only be satisfied in Him - as they come to Him in childlike dependence and trusting faith.
God in His grace often uses those times of darkness and distress to teach us important lessons of His grace, so that as we call out to Him for help and strength, we discover Him to be our great Support, our merciful Provider, the Rock on which we stand and our holy, heavenly Comforter.
God knows that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He knows that in our helpless state, His grace is more than sufficient for the need of the hour, for His strength is perfected in our insufficiency. God knows that His grace is more than adequate to meet all our needs, according to His riches in glory... and He wants us to know this truth and to reckon it as fact, in the inner recesses of our being.
Often, in His great wisdom, He will bring us to the end of ourselves, so that we discover that He alone is our refuge and strength. Over and again, in His infinite grace and everlasting love, we find Him to be our ever-present Helper in difficult days and times of trouble.
Though God, at times, may wait for us to call out to Him, He is neither slow to hear the cries of the disconsolate soul - nor is He slack in responding to the pleading cries of the breaking heart - for the very day that Jeremiah called out to the Lord for help, was the very time the Lord responded with those great words of comfort...from the God of all comforts - "Fear Not - I will be with you, to help you, and deliver you"
Jeremiah called out to the Lord on many occasions. His prophetic word was ridiculed, his prophetic writings were burned. He was flung into a deep, dry, dirty well and he watched the beloved city of David being ransacked by the marauding Babylonians, and the holy Temple of God being desecrated and burned with fire.
But when Jeremiah cried out to the Lord... the Lord heard his cry. When waters flooded over his head, and he thought he was going to die... the Lord came to his rescue. When Jeremiah called on the name of Yahweh, from the depths of the pit, and cried to God for relief and consolation... God did not ignore his pleading call for relief, and Jeremiah was able to confess.."You drew near when I called on You.. You said, "Do not fear!"
Jeremiah was helpless and there was no one to turn to, except the Lord. But God brought him to the place of helplessness, so that he would cry out to HIM, and the Lord would hear and answer. And Jeremiah's heart was encouraged and his faith was strengthened.
The prayer of helplessness is the simple sigh of the living soul, which is breathed into the heart of the living God. The whispered plea of dependent helplessness, rejoices the heart of God, and His immediate response is, fear not, my child, I created you and purchased you - I died for you and I love you.
When the eyes of the heart cling to the Lord in deep distress and childlike dependence, our muted voice is translated into an inner groan of the soul, and God draws near... and He hears and responds to every heart-cry of His children, with His gracious words of comfort - FEAR NOT.
Help me Lord, in my deep distress, in Jesus' name, AMEN.
"Fear Not - I will be with you, to help you, and deliver you"