Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr
Jeremiah 20:10-13;Psalm 18:2-7; John 10:31-42
The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion. (Jeremiah 20:11)
“Terror, terror on every side!” That’s how Jeremiah’s enemies portrayed him. They accused him of needlessly stirring up fear among the people by talking about God’s coming judgment. And so employing the rumor mill that was part of the court in Jerusalem, they spread gossip and slander that made life downright dangerous for the prophet. But Jeremiah didn’t back down. He had entrusted his life to God, and he knew that God would be his champion and keep him safe.
God is indeed a mighty champion for all of us—not just in life-and-death situations like Jeremiah’s but even in the everyday “dangers” that we face. He is with the housewife who worries about keeping her children in line, cleaning her home, and preparing meals for her family. He is with the student struggling against peer pressure. He is with the lonely widower facing a troubling diagnosis and the prison inmate trying to change his life in often brutal surroundings. Whether we are facing a real war or just a battle within our minds and hearts, God is our champion, ready to fight for us and defend us.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to ask the Lord for help. We have been so conditioned by life in this world to think we have to fight all by ourselves. We are told that religion is just a crutch and that we should be strong enough to handle whatever comes our way. Or we have been told that it’s normal to live with a certain level of anxiety and worry and that only naïve fools are happy all the time. We should just grow up and get used to our problems because life is unfair, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Don’t listen to these voices! You have a God in heaven who cares for you and who wants to do good for you. He is very near to you, waiting for you to call on him. A true champion, he will take up your cause and give you his grace, his wisdom, and his insights to help you through every challenge. You don’t have to walk this path alone!
“I love you, Lord, my strength … my rock, my fortress, my deliverer!” (Psalm 18:2-3)~WAU