If God has a plan, where do I get it?
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Many of us may be familiar with that verse. It’s often given as a message of hope. I know I’ve read that verse often over my life, to be reminded that there’s a reason for what’s happening, and ultimately “a plan” even if I don’t know all of the details.
Well I was talking with a friend who mentioned that verse and asked if I knew it. I said yes and almost recited it word for word with her. Then she asked if I’ve ever read the rest of the passage. Ummm…no. Often we quote a verse here and there, but it’s really best to read and study the whole passage to understand the context from which it comes. This is hard for me to do on my own and one of the many reasons I participate in a Bible study and attend Sunday School. Usually others can shed light on a passage or our study materials provide the background information that’s needed. I’ve also been blessed over the years with great teachers and leaders- thank you! I invite you to give Sunday School a try.
So, here’s the next two verses –
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13, NKJV)
Oh…so God has a plan for me, and if I actually do something -(call upon Him, pray, seek, listen) I’ll find out more about that plan! Isn’t God good! Not only does His word encourage us, but He tells us exactly what we need to do next! Hmm, doesn’t seem hard. Again, this is not always easy on my own, but with encouragement from my friends and church family I can try!
And I’m finding, like with any choice or new habit I’m trying to do more regularly- practice makes perfect! The more I pray and seek God’s direction, the more it’s revealed. He uses other people to share something, or a sermon I may hear, or those songs I often listen to, or even a devotional I read on a hard day to guide me.
Now I recently was shopping with my teenage daughter. It wasn’t going well- the perfect outfit didn’t just “jump off the rack” into our hands upon entering the store! While frustrating at the time, it’s a simple reminder to me that often we have to act upon what we know and have learned. We often have to do something, to get something. There are clothes out there for us..but it requires looking through several racks, trying on many pairs of pants, or perhaps going to another store- all which takes more than five minutes! (Can you tell I’m not much of a shopper?!)
So when the answers about my future don’t drop from thin air and I can’t “see” the future plan as God does, and I get frustrated, I am reminded that I need to continually seek Him- pray…listen…and do something! And it may take more than five minutes, or a day, but if I give God my whole heart and keep searching, He promises I will find Him and His way for me!