Live So simple, yet so hard sometimes. I have been asked to choose, to accept what is already mine, what has already been given to me, all that I need to do is reach out and accept it. Life... Life in the here and now. No worries about tomorrow, no stressing the past. Just LIVE.
Our small group will be looking at Jeremiah 29: 4-14 this week, and if I am honest I will tell you that up until this week I have been irritated with this passage (or more specifically, verse 11). It's often handed out in bad times as 'Read Jeremiah 29:11' for the promise that no matter what bad situation you are in, God has a plan for our welfare, hope and a future. This is I admit is a comforting thought, however, taken out of context by so many. This is from passage where God is speaking through his prophet to Jews who were sent into exile. He is asking them to build houses, to enter relationship with the people in their new city, to have children, in essence... he is asking them to LIVE. I imagine that they must have been thinking, this is temporary, this won't last forever, why settle down here? Why build relationships? We we will be going home soon... but then God steps in.
'When 70 years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill my good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me, and find Me when you search with your whole heart. I will be found by you'.I have been reading this passage once a day since last week... because it's one that I have always been irritated by. This is not God saying to us 'I have a plan for YOU, to prosper YOU, to give YOU a hope and a future... This is God saying, I have a plan for my people, and it struck me this week, that I am a part of his people, I am a citizen of his Kingdom, he has a plan to give my Kingdom a hope and a future. Let's not kid ourselves, during that 70 years did no one die? Did no one suffer? How can we hold onto a promise that is not really a promise for our own welfare but for the welfare of the Kingdom? God has a plan for us as his people, he has a plan to prosper his people and give his people a hope and a future... does that mean that part of his plan isn't going to mean pain for me? I don't know. Could the life of my son better serve the Kingdom if he is taken from me too early? His plan, his ways are not always our own... therefore, the promise, can not mean me personally. His plan for our prosperity cannot be for me, BUT, his plan, his ultimate plan will be fulfilled and be for good and hope and a future. This we can hold onto... this we know, that if we give it up, follow him, ultimately, no matter what happens to us here on earth, he has our best interests at heart. He has a plan for us, for his people, for His Kingdom that lives for eternity. Does this sometimes mean suffering? Yeah, sadly that is a part of life here on earth since Genesis 3. What he asks of us during our time here, our time in exile so to speak, it to LIVE, to move in, build homes, relationships, to pray for the place we live, to care for the people around us, to look after the place where we are. To Live...
I have not been 'living'... I have been stressing the past, worrying about the future, bemoaning the burdens placed on us, and somewhere in there I have ceased to LIVE. So, I will give it up... all of it... I will let go, and I will trust that God knows where we are going and all I need to do is follow him.