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 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. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14
We read this Bible verse today. Not a particularly uncommon verse, but today it spoke to me in a completely different way. Usually when I hear this passage, I think of all the wonderful plans God has set down for me and how much I trust in the ways he will lead me to prosper, but today I picked up a new part of the passage. God proclaims that He will bring me out of the places where He banished me and back out of exile that He carried me to. I had never thought about the places of exile and banishment as a place God has carried me to. I’ve only thought about God carrying us out of those places.
Lately I’ve felt pretty disconnected, and I don’t really know how to handle it. This passage helped me to see that maybe this isn’t a place where I am straying from the path, but just a stop along the way. God is so much bigger than me, and just because I can’t find Him or connect right now, doesn’t mean I’m not sitting in His hands. It’s hard to think that God would want to put us in a place of banishment of exile, but who are we to say what’s best for us. I can’t say that I like it here or resent the place I am in my life, but maybe I can learn to find beauty in the burdens.
(To read more about Lauren’s YAV year, visit her blog: http://lrampy.blogspot.com/)