God’s ways are not our ways – we have been told long ago and we know it, perhaps… from experience!
The prophet Jeremiah had certainly learned this from experience!
The 1st reading of today is a good example of this (Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19).
« Get yourself ready. Stand up!”
With these words, God sends Jeremiah on a mission:
“Pronounce my judgments on my people”.
The prophet may try to object that he is too young, that he does not know how to speak.
God does not listen to any of this and he adds some surprising words:
“Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.”
Is this not strange?
We would think that God will encourage his prophet but these words sound rather like a threat…
However, God goes on with words of reassurance.
Referring to his rebellious people, God tells Jeremiah:
“They will fight against you but will not overcome you,
for I am with you and will rescue you”.
This is an obvious display of God’s ways:
God does not remove obstacles but helps his people to overcome them.
This was his method in the time of Jeremiah and…
it is rather clear that he has not changed his method in our own time!
We would prefer that he makes things easier for us, and then… we could manage on our own!
But precisely, God does not expect us to manage on our own!
Problems, difficulties, failures, losses – all these are part of our daily life.
God who is all-powerful could take them away from our path.
He surely could, but he does not… and we have to believe that he knows what is best for us.
This kind of learning finds us… students all through our lives…
We need to learn that God does not expect us to manage on our own, he wants us to manage with him!
To us also God’s words are addressed:
“I am with you and will rescue you”.
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2022/