In this scripture, the prophet Jeremiah knew his enemies acted against him and yearned for the certainty of God. We too often find ourselves in situations that make us anxious and question if the Lord is really with us. Yet we hear the words that Jesus says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.” We bring our thirst for certainty amidst our troubling lives and world to him.
The mathematical genius and father of computer science, Blaise Pascal, had a similar thirst for knowing the certainty of God. In his home late one day, on November 23, in 1654, Blaise Pascal wrote that the Holy Spirit revealed the fire of God to him.
In the midst of his revelation, he grabbed a piece of paper and wrote quickly, “Fire, fire, fire, The God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certainty, certainty, heartfelt, joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ.”
He sewed this paper into his clothing and wore it there for the rest of his life. At his death, his testimony was found about the certainty he had found in Jesus Christ.
Many times in my own life, I have thought of Pascal’s witness to us. Our life frequently contains testing and turmoil, yet as we faithfully continue our great walk of faith with Jesus Christ, we sense this same certainty. In trust we receive the revelation of the living holiness of God. In trust we pray and listen for the direction of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s promise is that we too know the God of Jesus Christ who gives us certainty, joy and peace. This fire of God carries us confidently into our future.
Nancy C. James
Appointed readings for today: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:6-11, John 7:37-52