I have been reflecting on the following verses from Jeremiah 31:
15 “A sound is heard in Ramah, a sound of crying in bitter grief. It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” 16 The LORD says to her, “Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! For your work will be rewarded. Your children will return from the land of the enemy. I, the LORD, affirm it! 17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. Your children will return to their own territory. I, the LORD, affirm it!”
A portion of this passage is quoted in chapter 2 of Matthew’s account of king Herod killing baby boys to eliminate any potential threats to his kingship.
I am struck by the phrase that Rachel refused to be comforted. This is the image of a person oppressed, vulnerable, suffering the deepest grief of her inability to save her children from being killed in the greatest of injustices. The only power she can exert in the situation is to refuse to be comforted. No one of her peers can force her to accept this deepest of unjust actions toward her family.
In the midst of her grief, God brings hope. He alone could speak to her deepest need. He alone could change the future.
As I dwell with this scripture in my mind, I am conscious of the many individuals around our globe this very day, who are experiencing similar grief. In Yemen, India, New York, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and the list goes on. Their only power is the choice to refuse to accept the horror of the injustices being committed upon them and their loved ones. They demand that the world take note of the injustice. They demand justice.
So this is the question that won’t leave me: “What situations in my world today are so heavy upon God’s heart that He would want me to refuse to find comfort in my security from them?” [I hate the line from Band Aid, “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”] “How do I pray” “How might I speak to these injustices, or respond to enact hope?”