Friday, May 25, 2012

I Don't Know. And That's OK.

"This is what the Lord says: 'When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 
'and will bring you back from captivity...'"
- Jeremiah 29:10-14


Chances are you've heard Jeremiah 29:11, the part that I did not embolden in the scripture above. It's one of the most encouraging and popular verses in the Bible; a reminder that God is in total control, that he is good, and that he has a good plan for our lives even when we don't always see it. 

But I was brought to this passage a couple mornings ago and I began reading around the verse. I love verse 11, but what about verse 10? When the Israelites were exiled and put in captivity, there wasn't a big feeling of hope. The Lord told them that when seventy years are completed in Babylon, then he will come and fulfill his good promise. 

Seventy years? I don't know about you, but that's a long time to wait. We love that God has a plan and future for our lives, but are we willing to wait on him for it? Am I? Or do we want God to fulfill his promises on our timetable, schedule and Google calendar? 

Like I mentioned in my last post, I've been tempted to sometimes look ahead. Plan ahead. Map out my future. Or at least attempt to. All that seems to do for me, however, is sort of overwhelm me. Now don't get me wrong: having long term goals is great. I have my own share of those that give me a sense of direction. But make sure that you don't take God out of that plan-making process. And sometimes, many times, the best course of action is to surrender the future to him instead of trying to get into the little details of everything. Embrace the vision God has placed in your life and just let him take care of the details.

How long have we sometimes planned ahead for? A year? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? We can make all the plans and charts and projections we want... but if God has another plan, you might as well throw them out to the curb. And if he does have another plan for you, are you willing to throw your own away? It's a choice we all have to make. We all have to answer God's question: "Do you trust me?"

And then there's the couple verses after verse 11. There's a lot of action taking place in those couple sentences. Call. Come. Seek. Find. Listen. Pray. Our faith cannot afford to be inactive and passive. In order for us to realize God's plans for our lives, we have to move. We have to take action and take that critical step of faith. That's often the hardest thing to do. I don't want to be the person who doesn't take those steps. Sometimes it's easy to just sit back and take the easy route instead of making the kinds of sacrifices God is asking us to make... Our faith needs to be fueled by action. 

What it all boils down to is this: I don't know where God is going to have me in five years. Or 10 years. I really, really don't. But I do know that God is going to be with me through it all. And that's all I really need in the end.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Proverbs 19:21, Psalm 20:4, Proverbs 16:3 

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