Revue: God and the “Too Hod”

© Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2017 Lynn Abbott

“It’s too hod,” he said.

I stifled a smile as my witty neighbor Pat rolled her eyes, and walked toward her three-year-old and his tricycle.

He’d “had it” with riding his trike for the day.  So, little Aaron climbed off his tricycle and started walking home.

Pat, who possessed the patience of a saint, gently prompted him, “What about your tricycle? You can’t leave it in the middle of the sidewalk.  Someone else will take it home.”

Aaron, having carefully considered his mother’s argument, took a few, halting steps toward his trike before announcing once more, “It’s too hod.”

Pat winked at me, and I could see that she too struggled to hold back laughter.  However, she focused on the lesson at hand.

Taking a deep breath, she responded, “It’s not too hard.  I’ll walk with you.”

And with that, Pat stepped toward the tricycle and reached for one of the handle bars.

“Here,” she said pragmatically.  “I’ll take one handle and you take the other.  We’ll walk it home together.”

To this day, my sense of humor gets the best of me whenever I face what seems to me to be an insurmountable task. I invariably think of Aaron and that tricycle.

Uh, huh. You better believe it.

“It’s too hod,” I announce to my family at the top of my voice. Then, we all burst out laughing.

Yeah, Aaron’s story lives on as a kind of family mantra, eliciting good humor on difficult days.

Taking a deep breath, she responded, “It’s not too hard.  I’ll walk with you.”

But to be perfectly honest, I do believe that on occasion, when you and I face challenges, we might be tempted to say, ‘It’s too hod.’

I think Jeremiah felt a bit overwhelmed sometimes as God’s prophet.

Jeremiah. Now, there’s a guy who had been given a thankless task.

Of course, no one likes the bearer of bad news. And Jeremiah definitely earned his nickname “the weeping prophet.”

He presided over Judah as it sputtered and fizzled.  His prophetic warnings ignored by the Jewish public, Jeremiah watched Babylon destroy his beloved capital city and carry its people into captivity.

Jeremiah’s history reminds us that Abba loves to use those who feel unprepared and inadequate to the task.

That would be a tough assignment for anyone.  Had I been interviewing people for the job, I would have looked for a tough guy, a straight shooter who wore iron-clad skin.

But that wasn’t Abba’s way.

Instead, Abba chose a tenderhearted, thoughtful guy.  In fact, we know from Scripture that Jeremiah’s heart broke every time he delivered a prophecy.

I suppose that there are some people who love to deliver prophetic warnings. Their personalities are well-suited to it.

But for Jeremiah who longed to be loved and to love in return, such a life appeared positively dreadful. After all, no Biblical prophet ever won a popularity contest.

Thus, when God called, Jeremiah did not perform a “happy dance.”

In fact, Jeremiah looked for an escape hatch.

He responded quickly and predictably, “‘Alas, Lord GOD!  Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth,” (Jeremiah 1:6).

It’s too hod…I’m just a young and inexperienced fellow. Why don’t you choose someone else?

Nice try, Jeremiah.

God didn’t let him wiggle out of it…

‘Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go.  And all that I command you, you shall speak.”

Jeremiah’s history reminds us that Abba loves to use those who feel unprepared and inadequate to the task, (I Corinthians 1:26-27). Indeed, Abba walks with us.

Compassionate Jeremiah knew from the outset that he didn’t have either the strength or gravitas to serve as a prophet.

Yet, his so-called “weakness” reminded him to depend upon God.  And God uniquely blesses those who depend solely upon Him, (Matthew 5:3-12).

Jeremiah, in fact, delivered this powerful message to God’s people, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this that he understands and knows ME, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD,” (Jeremiah 9:23-14)

God uniquely blesses those who depend solely upon Him, (Matthew 5:3-12).

That’s right.  Jeremiah had obviously learned that God loves to choose the seemingly unqualified to accomplish the humanly impossible.

Of course, in the midst of trouble, Jeremiah did say, “It’s too hod!”

But Abba helped Jeremiah walk his burden home.  How do I know? Well, although Jeremiah threatened to quit the prophecy gig in chapter 20 of Jeremiah, the book continues through chapter 52.

In addition, Jeremiah 29:11 announces triumph after the despair of Jeremiah 20:9.  God promised Judah and Jeremiah, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11).

At the midpoint, Jeremiah threatened to quit.  Abba, however, helped him persevere and then, record in Jeremiah 29:11, God’s gracious promise to His wayward people.

Maybe, you have also faced a few black tunnels. Perhaps, at times, you have found yourself hurdling into life’s shadowlands.

And, like Jeremiah, midway through your calling, you have looked for an escape hatch.

Yet, God in His grace will not let you or me go, (John 10:27-30).  Although we cannot see the end, Abba does.

He promises to walk beside us.

He takes one handle bar; you and I take the other.

In fact, our Sovereign-Shepherd especially carries us when we long to give up.    The apostle Paul reminds us that God “who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 1:6).

Jeremiah put it another way. He said, “But the LORD is with me like a dread champion…” (Jeremiah 20:11).

Undeniably, Abba fights on our behalf.  On the cross, Christ guaranteed our future and hope.

Until then, He securely holds us, (John 10:27).

And yes, you and I can be certain of this because “Nothing is ‘too hod’ for our God.”

“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness,”

~Lamentations [of Jeremiah] 3:21-23.

47 thoughts on “Revue: God and the “Too Hod”

  1. Hi Lynn, you used the word “shadowlands” in your post and it struck me as I read through it that just like your paintings, you have the beautiful ability to paint a texture with your words that investigates and explores the shadows within scripture and it all blends together in a beautiful composition. I always look forward to your posts because you always complete the circle, there are no gaps or loose ends and there is that gentle quality that permeates the whole picture. You are a gift to the Church and I thank our Lord for your heart and dedication. Blesssings! – Bruce

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Just to illustrate:

    “But for Jeremiah who longed to be loved and to love in return, such a life appeared positively dreadful. After all, no Biblical prophet ever won a popularity contest.”

    11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, the man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when I have spoken this word to myself, I stood trembling. Daniel 10:11

    Daniel worked for the king, crossed fire-stoves, pit with lions, all with the personal company of the Lord, is one example of application and popular success in the affairs of God.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this post. One of the most difficult things for us is to totally submit to God. We always want to be involved in the solution, but true submission means allowing God to pick up the tricycle and carry us home on his back. The road will be difficult at times, but with Jesus at our side, we can do anything. Even the hod stuff. Love this painting too❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful insights on Jeremiah, Lynn. Many lives of believers are well reflected in the life of the weeping prophet, and you brought this out with great compassion and skill. An excellent “read” to start the day off with!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so very much, David! You know I always look forward to reading your thoughts. You have so much wisdom and are such a talented, skilled and seasoned writer that your approbation of a post is an extraordinary honor. I’m truly grateful. God bless you big time, David!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This paints such a beautiful picture. I so relate to Jeremiah.

    It’s symbolic too. While we walk in uncertainty thinking things are too hard, we don’t see how close home truly is, and our Father waiting for us. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Lynn!!!! This is so good! I love the the book of Jeremiah and it’s an amazing example to with a similar call. It’s hard when they have to step up to the plate and some wrestle with obedience because of the audience or recipient of the word. Thankfully God hasn’t called us to walk it out alone and just like He walked with Jeremiah He will walk with us! Well written my friend – that wasn’t “Hod” 😂 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully written Lynn. Gosh the other day I cried my eyes out after delivering the ‘be warned’ news God gave me to deliver. I felt like I was the bearer of bad news. This happens to me often. I prayed to God telling Him to give messages like the one I gave to someone else. Just as I was crying on my bed, someone commented on my blog post and it was as if he knew what was going on and God used him to encourage me. Delivering bad news can be very difficult.

    And aren’t we so thankful that nothing is ‘too hod’ for Abba Father?!! He holds our hand to walk through life and even carries when we are down! What a blessing. Thanks for delivering this message beautifully. God bless you my sis❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You did it to me again. You inspired me to share my own story on this subject, but I will try to make it brief this time, but I have a hard time being brief. 🙂

    When I was a child, I had few people, if any, to encourage me that I could do anything other than maybe sing. I did have a father who didn’t think much of my intellectual abilities. He even told me one day, when I was an adult, that he could probably find something to talk with me about, even though I was “not as intelligent as my other children,” he said. I chuckle at that now.

    I had little confidence in my scholastic abilities, though early on I seemed to do well in math and English, until English became more about reading and reading comprehension than it did about grammar and spelling. I was a slow reader. In fact, I started my first year of college reading on a 4th grade level. I just didn’t have much confidence that I could learn much at all, and I was especially horrible in social studies and science. So, I wasn’t particularly motivated to excel in school, and I graduated high school with a 1.4/4.0 GPA. I completed 4 years of college in 1972 with a 2.5/4.0 GPA, but I never graduated.

    Fast forward… Now I was 52 years old (in 2002), and I decided to go back to school at our local 2-year technical college. I was not even sure if I could pass the entrance exam, but I did, and with flying colors, at that. I began with just one class, Accounting, to see how I would do. And, with each homework assignment I said, “I can’t do this.” I had convinced myself that I just could not learn. But, the Lord encouraged me that, in his power, I could, so I stayed the course, and I got an A. After 4 years of taking classes, maybe 2 or 3 a semester, I ended up with a 4.0/4.0 GPA, all glory to God, and I received an Entrepreneur Certificate, just a few classes shy of a 2-year degree. But, that was my goal, so I was good.

    Anyway, so when I read your story about the mother walking the trike home with the little boy, it really touched my heart, because, in a way, I was that little child saying “It’s too hod,” but God said, “Here, I will walk with you, and you’ll do fine.” He is so amazing!!

    So, when God gave “the call of Jeremiah” on my life, not that I am a prophet, but I am the Lord’s servant, and he does give me what to say, I didn’t think I qualified, either, and there were many times when I questioned that calling on my life. But, God took me through so much stuff, so much hardship and rejection in order to prepare me “for such a time as this,” so that when he said, “Write what I tell you, and place it on the internet,” I obeyed, not because I thought I could do it. I knew I couldn’t. But one thing he did teach me at that last school was that, in his power, and with him walking beside me, I could learn anything he wanted to teach me, and oh, my, he has taught me so much. It is mind boggling. Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a great and moving post, Lynn. I especially liked when you said, “Jeremiah’s history reminds us that Abba loves to use those who feel unprepared and inadequate to the task,” and I feel that applies to us as Christians today. We are so eager to give up that we don’t stop and realize that our Father will get us back up, brush off our shoulders, and help us along the way, but we also have to give our trust and depend on Him.

    That includes our pain, grievances, shame. I was actually reading in the book of Jeremiah where he said in chapter 15 verse 18, “18. Why is my pain perpetual And my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed?…”

    This was such a good post, Lynn that I was wondering if I could references this in tomorrow’s post about Giving it All to God?

    Like

    • Hi, Josh! Thank you so much. Your kind words mean the world to me since it is obvious to me that you are a sincere and serious student of the Word! And I would be truly honored if you referenced my post. Thank you so much. You do so much for others in addition to writing encouraging and challenging Biblical exhortations. God bless you greatly in your ministry! You are truly making a difference!

      Like

  10. Pingback: Are You Going to Give God It All? – Taking Up My Cross

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