“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
This famously loved verse is normally printed on graduation cards, coffee mugs and hung on our children’s walls. It feels good to know that the Lord has a plan for our individual prosperity, safety and that we have hope for the future - and all of this is true. What is also true is that the prophet Jeremiah said this to the people of Israel during the beginning of a 70 year exile. (vs. 10) This promise of a future hope was both the end of the exile and the long term hope of Jesus coming. God tells them to not just wait out the exile, but to still live their lives.
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:5-7
The beginning of COVID felt like we could just wait a few weeks and everything would go back to normal. Staying home was an inconvenience for most. Losing jobs, remote learning and doing virtual visits was a disappointing reality that we assumed would last a couple months. As we begin the new school year with remote learning and jobs for some have not been replaced we can start to lose hope. Thankfully, this is not a 70 year exile; although some days may feel like it. This is a season that is just longer than expected; however, we can still live in this season.
Let’s live with the hope that the Lord has good plans for our future even in this season of waiting. While we are here let's “increase” and “not decrease.” Let’s still find excitement about the new school year for our kids. Let's invite foster kids into our homes. Let’s make new goals to work towards. Let’s seek peace and not division with the people around us because we live in this season of “waiting” together. Let’s not covet our past “normal,” but let’s move forward with hope. Reposted from Sept. 8, 2020