There are moments in life when things don’t turn out the way we thought. Sometimes we can face difficulty after difficulty. Often this happens in the unexpected places. Without a doubt they test us. Often related to relationships, our health, financial instability, growing old, or the death of a loved one. Maybe you have already experienced several of these? If not you will at least experience one!
In today’s first reading the prophet Jeremiah, one of the major prophets of the Old Testament, often referred to as the weeping prophet who lived probably between 650-570 BC, is faced with terror on every side. His ministry was active from 13th year of Josiah king of Judah 626 BC to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 587 BC.
He is tested by the difficulties of his life. All those who were on good terms with him watched his downfall. They wanted to get the better of him. They wanted to take revenge!
Yet in the midst of Jeremiah’s life there was a secret unfolding, a dual relationship between the secular and the spiritual; between emotion and the Higher Power; between his external experiences of people and the internal experience of God. The words of the Roman stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger, come to mind. “If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.”
Jeremiah refused to be defeated. In fact this was a moment of immense revelation for him. It was an inner discovery of the Divine in the midst of his life. It was a moment of a powerful awareness, of enormous significance; a flowing self-awareness of the presence of God where Jeremiah’s led into a deeper relationship with his God. He knew that Yahweh (the name of God by the ancient Hebrews) was with him. He knew that God was at his side like a mighty hero.
In the words of Richard Rohr “the mystery of presence is that the encounter wherein the self-disclosure of one evokes a deeper life in the other.”
Have you ever realised that your life is an unfolding spirituality? That your experience of your “being” is taking you into a deeper understanding of the Divine.
I know there will be many who can relate to Jeremiah’s story. Can you remember the staggering moment when you shuffled with emotional or physical pain? Or the time when you wept for whatever the reason? Or the time when you were blank because you did not know how to respond to the situation? Or the time you felt let down?
Like Jeremiah we have been there, at least with one of those times! Yet these are the times when we witness the spirituality of BEING. When we stand humbly before God! These are the moments when we are renewed with new insight but often it takes time for us to realise what God is revealing to us.
These are undoubtedly the moments when our faith is renewed!