‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, declares the Lord…
Fear grips me every morning before I get out of bed. Just this vague and uncomfortable sense that all is not well. Granted, I don’t have a job or much of a retirement plan (I am 66 as I write this), the only work I have done for the last forty years is child care which is declining due to the pandemic, my van is on the verge of collapse and my knees hurt so much that sitting is hard as is walking. Others have it much worse, I am ashamed of my fearful complaining. Still the fear greets me every morning.
So I change the channel in my mind by reflecting on different Bible passages. Today the passage of choice was Jeremiah 29:11
I feel like a captive right now. This pandemic has me in a stagnant place waiting for the end of it and looking forward to life returning to a normal that is more freeing than this lock down. Not quite the same as what God’s people were going through when Jeremiah wrote these words but the message is comforting and encouraging to me right now. This captivity is temporary as was theirs. God knew when theirs would end and He knows when ours will end.
Bloom where you are planted some have said. God encouraged His people to do just that in the verses leading up to this promise in verse 11. He told them to build houses and plant gardens, to marry and have children and to pray for the welfare of the city where they are being held in captivity. He promised the day would come when they were released from captivity but until then – live, be fruitful, pray and seek Him. And do not listen to the myriad of false prophets who claim to be coming in the name of the Lord.
When fear greets me in the morning, I know I can find solace and comfort and guidance in God’s word. Do I always go there first? No, but I am purposing to be fruitful even in captivity and I can’t do that apart from Him and His word. How about you? How are you weathering the pandemic? I would love to hear from you and hear what passages are turning your captivity into fruitfulness.
Father forgive me for allowing fear to be a part of my day. Forgive me for not turning to Your word sooner when fear does come knocking. Thank You for the promises You have given to me and for showing me that You keep them. For Your continual guidance and presence through this pandemic and beyond, thank You. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.
pic credit: lessonsfromhome.com