A friend shared with me the challenges he once confronted as a result of losing his job. He was an engineer who worked his way up into a prominent leadership position. It provided him a secure and abundant life. Then one day, in the blink of an eye, it was gone.
It was a difficult time to lose a job. Even more difficult to replace the level of income he needed to sustain his life. Desperate, he took a job with an elevator company inspecting new installations. It was a significant step down into a new field of engineering.
The first day on the job, he was to inspect an elevator being installed in a 30-story building in Manhattan. The elevator is the first thing installed when the steel beam structure of a building is in place. In order to keep construction progressing, the elevator needed to be inspected and approved. What he didn’t know until he showed up on the job, elevators are inspected by standing outside the cab and riding them to the top.
My friend was deathly afraid of heights. He was paralyzed by fear. The fear of heights and the fear of losing a job he couldn’t afford to lose. So, he sucked it up and climbed on top of the elevator for the worst experience of his life. He discovered the strength to overcome his fears.
This morning the Lord calls Jeremiah into a difficult and dangerous job. The Lord tells him, “Gird up your loins…do not break down…for I am with you.” It is these last five words which breathe hope into the servant’s heart. They are the words we need to remember when confronted with fear and hopelessness. Do we turn to God when we feel weak? Or does fear deafen our ears from hearing hope? Know that no matter where you are in life, the Lord is with you. (Jer. 1: 17-19)