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Watchword for the Month

God said: They will come with weeping: they will pray as I bring them back.
Jeremiah 31:9

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Sr Natalie Steenveld

Dear sisters and brothers, In the text for November God speaks to the Israelites by the mouth of this prophet Jeremiah. The heading of the passage where our text comes from is Israel’s return Home.

For 40 years Israel has been in exile and they were busy traveling to a place unknown to them. On this road they experienced much turmoil, and it was not always an easy road for them. They lost loved ones, they were frustrated and always in conflict with their leaders. They even blamed God for all the troubles and difficulties they went through. But God always showed mercy unto them. God has always showed His love for them. He always provided in their needs.

He promised them that He will be with them till the end. He promised them that it will go better with them. He will provide for them.

The Lord will bring Israel together again. They will be a great nation. All He asks of them is to trust Him.

In the 9th verse of this passage we read that Israel will come with weeping before the Lord. This time it will be tears of joy. Joy because now they can testify that God has been good unto them. God guided them to the Promised Land as He has promised them. Although the road was not easy, although they wept tears of sorrow, God turned their weeping into tears of joy. God saved His people. Jeremiah in this passage tells them to sing songs of praises unto the Lord, for He has saved them.

God makes a promise to Israel, that He will lead them to streams of water, He will lead them on smooth roads where they will not stumble and that He will be a Father unto them. This gives the Israelites reason to weep tears of joy.

The second part of our text tells us that God’s people will be praying as He leads them back. Israel knew what it meant to be prayer warriors. Sometimes their leaders interceded for them by God. But they were always in contact with God. God’s voice guided them, God’s voice encouraged them, and God’s voice gave them peace.

And as they were coming to the end of the journey, they enter the Promised Land prayerfully.

Dear sisters and brothers, we also experience difficult times in our lives. And as with the Israelites, we are frustrated, we want to give up, we want to turn back. We are unsure of the way forward.

But God wants to assure us in this month of November that as He has been with the Israelites, He is also with us; that there will come a time when He will change our tears of sadness into tears of happiness. We will weep tears of happiness. But we need to stay in contact with God. Our relationship need to be kept in place even in difficult times. Prayer is the only way that we stay in contact. If we stay in contact He also promises us that He will lead us out of our circumstances. He will lead us to streams of water on a smooth road where we will not stumble.

May the Lord comfort us and may He turn our mourning into joy; may our sorrows be turned into gladness. May we stay praying in all situations that we face.

God Bless

Sr. Natalie Steenveld