We all have had moments when we thought, “that could never happen to me.” We know such things happen and sometimes even to people that we know. I’m referring to crises and horrible tragedies – a sudden diagnosis that may be terminal, a tragic accident, or a natural disaster. Today, I read the final chapter of Jeremiah. The worst thing that could happen – the unimaginable – happened. God had given the people the Promised Land and in spite of all manner of struggle and disobedience, God had always been present and seemed to prevent the unimaginable from happening. Until now.
What now? When God did not intervene – when God did not prevent the worst from happening – what now? Now, it is crucial to remember the worst thing that happens is never the last thing that happens. Psalm 143:8b – “Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” As those who survived the destruction of Jerusalem made the long journey into exile, it was a time to let go and entrust their lives to God.
I hear a similar message as I read the first chapter of Revelation. John was writing from exile on the island of Patmos to people under persecution. God was not preventing the worst from happening. But remember: Jesus himself won the victory through his suffering and so must his people.
The worst thing that could happen to us is never the last thing. There is a future. There is hope, because there is Jesus Christ.
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 52; Psalm 143-144; Revelation 1