In the small village town of Anathoth, the opposition coming at him was fierce, the environment surrounding him was mean. The people were hard-hearted. Jeremiah became exhausted and had a mind to tap out of the struggle.
And so, the Lord asked him a question.
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?"
The Lord bent low, eyeball to eyeball with his young apprentice. "Jeremiah," He said, "you have no idea."
This is what Jeremiah didn't know: Like an athlete in training, this young prophet was being prepared for a greater work. A calling that was all grown up. One that would require every ounce of mental, emotional, and spiritual fiber he had.
And Anathoth was his conditioning.
Though the assignment was justifiably tiring, it was a blip, a beginning, a warm-up. It was a footrace designed to equip Jeremiah for the real test ahead. One that was nothing compared to the unrestrained beastly course ahead of him.
Jerusalem was his next challenger.
Jerusalem, where these preliminary rounds were exposed for child's play. Jerusalem, where the real battle for the soul of Judah raged.
To say Jeremiah had it rough, would be grossly understating his life. He earned the title of "Weeping Prophet" and when I read his account, I am hard-pressed not to sit down and throw a fit with him.
But this testament stands true through the ages: Jeremiah remained faithful to the call. He endured to the end. He finished the race. He ran with the mighty steads and by God's grace, was victorious.
But that resolve did not come for free. He learned how to race from the preliminary heats.
This journal entry may find you in the trenches of a footrace. Perhaps, like Jeremiah, you are tempted to tap out.
The Lord is conditioning you for something more, something eternal, something BIG. Stick with it. Learn to endure today so you will stand victorious tomorrow.