I’m going to guess you did just now what I do sometimes. You either skipped the above verse, or you read enough to know you’re familiar with it and skipped down to the text. Maybe you didn’t, but I am guilty of this so many times. God’s Word gets familiar, which is good, but we miss the blessing of the second reading.
So, could you do me a favor and go up and reread that verse closely? Maybe read it out loud slowly…give it a moment, and then come back. Maybe even find it in your Bible, and then open this post again when you’re ready.
This verse reminded me today, once again, that God’s Word is living. It works in us, and ministers to us specifically through His Spirit.
I had a setback today that shook me up. I got to school, only to have my left side seize up in spasms (dystonia, for my new friends). I left almost immediately, got home safely, and called the doctor. And it’s all fine. I’m fine.
I just wasn’t exactly what you’d call happy about it all…
Until the Lord brought to my mind this verse that He’d spoken to me about this morning. It’s on my mirror, along with a few others.
I was thinking about how different Jeremiah 29:11 would be if it stopped three words short.
“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
Read it like that again. Maybe a few times. How does it change? It’s significant.
Let me tell you how it changed for me today. (Parenthesis added for my own thoughts. Don’t judge. You do it, too….I hope.)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord” (Well, I’m glad someone does…grumpy sigh.)
“plans to prosper you” (Because I just had to tell my boss about dystonia over here….)
“and not to harm you” (I’m hurting right now!)
“plans to give you hope” (Be specific.)
But for me, here’s the kicker. This is what got me today for the first time, even though I’ve read this verse a million times.
“AND A FUTURE.”
A future? A future…even when it feels like it’s all a mess. When life is out of control. When the pain is too much. When the doctor doesn’t have any great new solution. When I’m humiliated. When I have to get up tomorrow and go at it again.
So, how would this verse be different for me without those 3 words??
Until that point, it all feels so “in the moment”–as though, yes, there are “plans” but I’m living now.
But, when a FUTURE is mentioned, I feel myself relax. Submit. Breathe.
I’m a planner and my plans go wrong all. the. time. When I’m planning, the future is always unsure.
But the LORD? Not Him. He has our futures, my friend. Not just the moment we’re living, but our FUTURES.
And they are safe with Him.
Setback or not. Pain or not.
His path leads to a future I can trust, because it is planned by the One I trust.
I think I’ll just hold His hand through this one.
I hope you do, too.