"So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah." (Jeremiah 38:11)
Just a few verses before, the Bible said that Jeremiah was thrown into the dungeon and sank into the mire. Anyone can see that Jeremiah's circumstances weren't ideal in the least, and by now, most of us would be throwing ourselves a royal pity party. Why me, Lord? we would say. To add insult to injury, the king finally allowed Jeremiah to be taken out of prison by nothing else than old cast clouts (pieces of cloth or leather thrown to the side) and some old rotten rags. I can't imagine being in prison, but I think it would be far worse to be brought out of prison by way of clouts and rags.
The Bible then says,
"So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison."
Not only was he in the dungeon with the mire, he was then brought out by rotten rags and then placed into the court of the prison. Not exactly the Sheraton Suites. But I don't see Jeremiah complaining once. Towards the end of the chapter, it reports that Jeremiah made a plea to the king not to kill him if he told the king what the Lord said. King Zedekiah agreed and was true to his word: he didn't kill Jeremiah, but Jeremiah stayed in the prison until Jerusalem was taken.
You may be wondering how all of this ties into my. stupid. thing. Well I'll tell ya!
I organized a huge group of people to play volleyball tonight and about 15 minutes into the game, I jumped up to hit the ball over and came down onto my ankle where I heard, "crack, crack, crack, crack." (Except it was in a more rapid succession that I just can't imitate here... insert imagination now!) One trip to the emergency room later, and I am now the owner of a "green-splint-on-the-ankle-crutches-under-the-arm" set of equipment.
The ironic part is, it could've been worse. Just like in Jeremiah's case (where he could've, you know, died) my circumstances are less than ideal but are definitely live-able.
So tonight's lesson for me was this: I have two choices. I can either complain ("I didn't get to play that much volleyball!") or I can rejoice ("Thank you Lord that it isn't worse.") I choose the latter. And although I might be moving at a slower clip the next couple of days, I can follow the example set by Jeremiah and not grumble. Hey, at least it was a green splint around my ankle and not some rotten rags!
God is good all the time... all the time God is good!