Jeremiah 26:20-23 has utterly rocked my world this week. I've done a lot of really cool, amazing, wonderful things. & not because I'm "amazing," but because I most definitely seek out amazing projects to be a part of. In fact, I'm far from amazing. I'm aware of my weaknesses, shortcomings, & sins more keenly than even my harshest critics & judges are. But it's been quite the shock & setback to me that I've put myself on the line for a "project" I thought would be most greatly appreciated, & the reaction around me was quite the opposite. At first, this was easy enough to handle because I was able to convince myself that I must have been very wrong in my evaluation of the project, and rather than the project being worth my passion (because, I'm one of "those" who can't do anything normal. Lol Ive always gotta go to the extreme.) it was a failure of sound judgment on my part & I was able to believe I had involved myself in a project that was in fact not what I thought. Being dead wrong was hard to accept. But I did it.
Where I was thrown for a loop was when out of nowhere, all the crowds who were too busy, or too nonchalant, or too lazy, or lacked insight, or WHATEVER their reasons were for not standing with me in this cause, were suddenly hailing the project as "worthy" just as I had. Only, the problem was that I had been "killed" for it and lay forgotten in an unmarked grave, unable to be a part of the glory of it. The glory I had foreseen! The glory I had discerned! The glory I had invested my time, money, love, and passion into.
This is why Jeremiah 26 shook me. And thank God it did! It shook me from my mourning. Urijah (Uriah in other translations) was a mighty prophet, fearless. He echoed the prophecy of Jeremiah. He spoke truth. He was anointed of God. He was doing the right thing! But instead of a parade for standing with Jeremiah, instead of honor, his life was attacked and he was ultimately killed and thrown into an unmarked grave.
In our "praise culture" where our children grow up hearing parents rave about every tiny accomplishment, where our employers attend seminars where they're instructed in the art of a "praise sandwich," (praise, correct, praise.) Where we're taught "love" is "approval." When you are dealt Uriah's hand, it can nearly kill you. & a "living death" is worse than a physical death. When a person feels dead inside they'd prefer to actually BE dead!
Its easy to become disoriented & confused when you do something very godly, very powerfully, very "right," but your repayment is death & an attempt to blot out your memory. That was Uriah's outcome. it didnt make Uriah's behavior wrong. Even though evil TRIED to blot out his memory, we are still remembering him, valuing him, & speaking his name over two thousand years later.
So here's the lesson I've learned, and I hope it's helpful to you as well;
Don't become bitter if you find yourself in Uriah's shoes. Don't let the good that you did be consumed by the decay of death. Don't let your future good be unable to grow because you insist on mourning at a grave that's now full of rot. If you're still breathing there's something else for you to do. Don't limit your ability to be a part of more acts, of greater heights bc your stuck mourning at your unmarked grave. At that grave, lay some flowers of thanksgiving that you were a part of a good deed, then MOVE ON!
"Forgetting those things which are behind" isn't only about forgetting sinful, or embarrassing things. We must also forget about how great we did, how amazing we felt, how privileged we were to be a part of such a noble thing. If we get stuck even on good things, we're very much "stuck!" & being stuck in the past is never good. Living NOW, here, today is what's of utmost importance!
So, yeah. You did good. And yeah. It wasn't appreciated. And yep. You may feel dead because of the emotional upheaval of the whole experience. But its the deed that's dead. YOU AREN'T! So go do something else that is great and awesome!!
Bad things sometimes happen to good people. But dont let your good thing make you a bad person. You might even shed some more tears along the way. my sister died almost forty years ago, and periodically my parents will shed a few tears. But its a FEW tears. They've learned how to not allow the pain to consume & rule them. And thats your goal. You're human. Periodically you may get chocked up over the death of your deed. But you must work to get to a place where it doesn't consume your living. My parents did not replace my sister, Gina. But they found new life in birthing and raising my brother and second sister. So be thankful you were honored to do something so great, but then leave that grave & all its pain behind and focus on the new.
In Jesus' name!