Yesterday we discussed how Jeremiah’s attempt to blame God for his unfulfilled longings was evidence of his lack of maturity. Today let’s continue to look at the importance of bearing the yoke in one’s youth.
We live in a day when youth are protected from bearing their “yoke.” Well-meaning parents often shield their teens from making wrong decisions, but a wise parent understands that allowing their child to suffer the consequences of wrong choices can be a beneficial learning experience.
God knows that Jeremiah’s turmoil will help him more than hurt him. In the midst of his pain the prophet cries, “I vividly remember my sufferings and because of this, I have hope!” Can you imagine? How can he say that he has hope as he remembers how much he has suffered?
Jeremiah learns what is essential for life–that God allows suffering to mature us and to teach us that He can be trusted. As Jeremiah looks back, he sees that God has delivered him in small and unusual ways. He experiences how God delivers him from the pit of despair and fills him with hope. Hope can be found-but not apart from this very important step. Listen to the words of Hosea:
“Come, let usreturn to the LORD; forhe has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1).
Suffering, particularly emotional suffering, is an important process in adolescent development. If the adolescent receives the necessary support during this time, he or she will learn that the sun will indeed rise again another day.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss some temptations that teens face during times of suffering, and we’ll see that the Bible, sufficient for all of life, provides a remedy to this problem as well!