Read Jeremiah 13
Focus on verse 23
We are once again in an election year. Which essentially means we will hear very little about anything else in the mainstream media until its over. At this point in the primaries it is difficult to predict who the final candidates might be, though the news outlets love to make predictions based on latest polling data.
As I write this the Iowa caucuses had just run their course and the outcome was a bit of a surprise in the Republican camp as Ted Cruz came out ahead of Donald Trump. In the Democrat camp the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was very close, as many had predicted it would be.
One of the candidates for president that I personally believe is one of the most admirable characters in the race is Dr. Ben Carson. At this point however, I would have to admit that while it may still be possible for him to win (because anything is still possible at this point) it does not appear highly probable.
There are many things like this in life. If I were to go out and buy a Power Ball ticket this evening it would become possible that I could win a hundred million dollars or so, however, with the odds being about three hundred million to one, if is not highly probable, so I should probably not quit my day job. Oh, wait…that right…I don’t have a day job! The point being that with those odds it would be foolish of me to assume that I would win a lottery just because I have a ticket.
In today’s reading in Jeremiah, the Lord makes a statement about the condition of the hearts of the people of Judah that has a similar message. He says:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots
Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. (v. 23)
This is not a statement verifying that the Ethiopian or the leopard can change…rather it is a declaration indicating that the likelihood of the people of Judah changing their ways from evil to good is about as likely as a leopard changing his spots, or an Ethiopian changing he color of his skin. Just because something is possible does not necessarily make it probable. On the other hand, just because something seems impossible to us, does not mean it cannot happen. After all, who would have predicted at the beginning of the GOP primary that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would be the two front-runners at this point in the race?
One of our challenges as we attempt to live a life that balances faith with reality is reconciling “anything is possible with God” together with “most often God just chooses to allow nature to take it’s course.” Without a firm belief in God’s sovereignty we can find ourselves lost in a quagmire of false hope when our dreams do not come to pass according to our plan. Somewhere between believing the impossible is possible and preparing for the obviously probable lies the balance that we call faith in the sovereignty of God.