Sunday, November 8, 2009

the prophet Jeremiah

y'know how some people remind you of Bible characters as you interact with them? there's one believer in my community that when i hear him speak and when i interact with him on our journey together i often think of the prophet Jeremiah. it is traditionally held that Jeremiah wrote the books that are attributed to his name, in particular i want to shed some light on the Lamentations of Jeremiah.
i went to lunch with Jeremiah today, he treated and he additionally blessed me as we discussed our life and how the walk can get dark but there are are also moments of hope. my Jeremiah said to me today, "it is during the times that are darkest when you feel like you are completely alone that God most desperately wants to break through into your life and provide you with the hope that you so desperately want". we discussed hope and faithfulness and how they are related since the darkness breeds a need for faithfulness and faithfulness will bring about hope. as i think about my own struggles i very literally said that faithfulness can be a strength for me but hope is still a desperate need. Jeremiah built me up as i considered my own need for hope.
we discussed the cloud of witnesses that the writer to the Hebrews (whoever she was) wrote about. i expressed my own joy at the thought that saints gone by could be cheering me on even though i believe a better interpretation of the passage talks about how the testimony of faith of those saints gone by is the example we need to emulate. i mentioned that i think it may be a Catholic thought but i'm ok with the idea that my grandparents, that St. Francis, that St. Stephen could be cheering me to the finish line. Jeremiah quickly pointed to saints who haven't passed yet and yet they provide light and hope for the journey everyday. he mentioned one of "his" saints who has not passed yet but has been a reservoir of hope for him. i told Jeremiah that i loved him and i thanked him for bringing hope to my life. he had an abysmally rough week and yet he found the strength to minister to me today.
you have people like this around you. they lament and they find hope and joy in the faithfulness of God.
thank you Abba for saints gone by and for saints who surround us with light everyday. bless Jeremiah, grant him peace and bring continued hope to his walk.


Lisa said...

mmm... I am constantly encouraged by the "communion of saints" by those who have gone before, and those who still breathe who stand and cheer me (us) on in our faith journeys. (And I have a particular affinity for a few of those wonderful Catholic saints you mentioned, and a few others besides.)

needed this reminder today, though, of that communion of saints. thanks for sharing.

jstainer said...

The idea of God, of saints, and of others cheering us on has been a huge help for our marriage. We often use that language in the midst of difficulties. Good stuff.