Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 29:11-14a NIV
11 “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. 12 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 seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
When our youngest son David was living at home, we used to spend hours together putting puzzles together on our kitchen table. Whenever I work a puzzle, I think about all the time we hovered at the table, searching for that one missing piece. Have you ever felt that way about your life? Have you ever wondered why some things happen the way they do? Is there one missing piece you are struggling to find to complete your life’s puzzle?
Sometimes, God’s plan for our lives and our own life plans do not seem to match up. Our David had a lot of health issues to overcome in the first few hours of his young life. This was not a part of my pregnancy plan. I wanted David to be born healthy and strong. Yet, he became very strong amid the physical adversities he endured. We do not always realize that our struggles will give us the spiritual muscle we need to survive and thrive in a world that doesn’t always listen. I admire our son’s tenacity in the midst of adversity today. I hate it when he struggles with his health, but I love his inner strength and endurance. This can only come through the resilience that is borne from pain.
The prophet Jeremiah spent forty years in the wilderness of Judah, beating his head up against a brick wall, trying to get the people to listen and repent. He was obedient to God’s call, even in the midst of his own personal suffering. Trapped within the captivity of human complacency, tormented and rejected by his neighbors, friends and family, Jeremiah never gave up on God’s plan for his life. His future and hope was planted in God’s Word alone. From a human perspective, I’m sure it must have been hard for Jeremiah to see. Yet, he knew if he continued to call on the Lord and pray with a sincere heart, that God would hear and answer his cries for help. Only God can bring you out of the personal captivity you find yourself in today, and into His eternal provision.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a little like a captive under house arrest, waiting rather impatiently for my body to mend after surgery. When I look at my life’s puzzle, I realize that God’s plan for my life and my own personal plans do not seem to match. I realize the Lord will give me the strength I need for each new day, and this puzzle will fit together beautifully when I am able to fully let go and trust Him completely for my future and hope. He is strengthening my faith muscle today. This finished work of art may not look the way I had imagined it, but in the Master Artist’s eyes, it will be perfect.
This is my prayer for today – to let go completely and trust God to complete His work in me in whatever shape and form He wishes. Will you join me in praying for God's will to be done?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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