READ:  Jeremiah 33:1-3


          When they call to me, I will answer them;

                   I will be with them in trouble,

                   I will rescue them and honor them.  Psalm 91:15 (NRSV)


          Jeremiah was in prison when he received this communiqué from 


God.  Almost as interesting as what was said was what was not said,


there was no promise of eminent release!!   Just a promise he would answer


if called.


          Many of us when we are in our self-constructed prisons feel isolated


and find ourselves despairing of our situation.   Whatever the


circumstances leading to our incarceration whether it was through sins


of omission or commission,  this is the time our attention often turns


to God.  Usually through a form of a plea, Get me out of this situation!


Sometimes we will even try to bargain for our freedom, “If you do this


Lord, I will _____.  Occasionally, we will even provide him with detailed


instructions for our deliverance!


          Seldom do we consider that the imprisonment is exactly what God


desires for us.  He has our attention and presents a great opportunity


for communing with us.  God is always more interested in establishing a


relationship with us than delivering us from our situation.  The potential


lessons that we are to learn through our captivity are considerably more


valuable for our spiritual growth than any miraculous deliverance from


our suffering or problems.