My current passport is due to expire at the end of this of this year, and this week I have been trying to renew it. Tempted by the reduction in price for an on-line application (well I am a Yorkshireman after all!), I’ve been increasingly frustrated by my inability to submit a picture of myself that meets with their criteria! (insert your own joke here). There’s either too much or too little light / shadow / business in the background, and so my application remains on hold, with me questioning why I’m bothering. And of course the question “why” extends to the bigger question of 'why bother?' and 'what’s the point?', when travel anywhere beyond Manchester, yet alone far flung places abroad, seems both a distant memory, and a pipe dream projected into the far flung future. Nevertheless, I applied in hope, that at some future time, all will be well.
In my own small struggles I am reminded by the experiences of Jeremiah, for he as God’s servant and messenger, was a great prophet who lived through terrible times. His country was overrun by Babylonian invaders, and there was widespread panic. Anyone who could was converting their land into cash or valuables. Only a fool would buy land which could be taken by the enemy at any time. The people were to be deported; Jeremiah himself was in prison. But a single verse in Jeremiah 32 is a mighty affirmation of hope. Approached by a cousin desperate to raise cash through selling his land, Jeremiah agrees. In verse 9 he says, "I bought the field at Anathoth."
Jeremiah's decision to buy his family land from his kinsman was more than just a commercial transaction. It was a statement of trust in God's future. He was saying that he believed God would keep his promises to Israel, and that one day the wanderers would come home.
Why do I persist with my passport application? - simply because I look forward to the time when I might be able to use it again. May God be with us in our hoping and waiting.
Keep in touch
Keep the faith.