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.