Today, I offer you the wisdom of the Bible found in Jeremiah 29:11.
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. NIV
When my first marriage disintegrated over twenty-five years ago, I felt as if my world was ending. Life was totally out of control. I cannot name the person who suggested that I read this scripture passage out loud every day. “Afterward,” she said, “Talk with God about your fears and doubts.” I didn’t know what else to do so I followed her suggestion. I spoke these words aloud over and over. I wrestled with God about my doubts and fears.
At first my heart was clouded. I was afraid. I saw only the difficulties. I didn’t trust God. Yet I persisted. Gradually, as the strength and assurance of God’s promise soaked into my soul, I began to feel hope and confidence. I will be eternally grateful to this friend. A framed copy of this verse hangs on my bathroom wall where I can see it everyday.
Today, in the midst of this pandemic, I offer the wisdom and promise of these words as God’s gift to you. Yes, we’re afraid, afraid we or someone we love will get sick and maybe even die. And that is only part of our fear. Beyond survival we’re afraid for the world’s economy, and our own. Weeks without work as our country is shut-down, investments shrinking in value every day, can ruin us financially. Those of us who work in the medical system are afraid our hospitals will be overwhelmed, afraid they will have to choose who receives the medical care they need to live. What kind of future will any of us have when this is over?
In the midst of this pandemic I offer the wisdom and promise of God’s words through the prophet Jeremiah. God knows the plans God has for us. Those plans are good. They will bring prosperity not harm. Those plans will give us hope for the future.
Like me years ago, your heart too my be clouded with doubt and fear as you repeat this promise. Keep repeating it anyway. Trust that God’s promise, God’s love is sure. Whatever comes, God does have plans for us. Soak in the hope, the assurance that these words offer.
Prayer: Thank you God for the wisdom of our Bible. Today we give thanks for your Words through the prophet Jeremiah. Thank you for the internet that has brought these words to us today. Open our hearts to receive the comfort and strength you offer us through them. Help us to pass them on to others as your gift of light in the darkness of our world today. Amen