The Hebrew people entered the desert feeling themselves a united people, a strong people, and you'd think that perhaps they would have experienced greater strength as they walked through. But no! They experienced fragmentation and weariness; they experienced divisions among their people. They were not the people they thought they were. The Jewish exodus is a rather perfect metaphor for spirituality.
When all of our idols are taken away, all our securities and defence mechanisms, we find out who we really are. We're so little, so poor, so empty—and a shock to ourselves. But God takes away our shame, and we are eventually able to present ourselves to God poor and humble. Then we find out who we are and who God is for us. That is how an enslaved people became God’s people, Israel.
Richard Rohr, adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 130, day 140
It’s that shock which breaks us open to the grace and the mercy of Christ, like the tax collector in Luke 18.9-14, who cried out, “God have mercy on me, a sinner!” and was the one who went home with his heart right with God, rather than the self-righteous Pharisee.
Like bread, we are of no use till we are broken…