“For I know the plans I have for you” – says the Lord – “plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”Jeremiah 29:11
This has to be one of the best known scriptures, and one I cling to whenever times get tough. It is comforting to remember that God has a plan for His people, even when our current circumstances can look pretty bleak. We can be sure that He is good and that He wants to give us more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
God sent this message to the prophet Jeremiah while Israel was in exile in Babylon. An exile they brought on themselves when they repeatedly disobeyed God (and did some pretty messed up stuff. Like, child-sacrifice messed up). And while the verse mentioned above is really well known, there is an earlier verse in this same chapter that I bet you aren’t as familiar with.
“Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Find wives for yourselves, and have sons and daughters.”Jeremiah 29:5-6
When God sent His people into exile, He didn’t want them to sit and wallow and dig in their heels. He called them to continue living even though their reality was significantly less than ideal. He wanted them to be fruitful, to multiply, and continue doing what He commanded His people to do way back in the Garden of Eden. He wants the same thing from us. I mean, I’ve seen the memes on Facebook about a baby boom coming in about 9 months, but that’s not what I’m talking about.
God has a plan for you and even a pandemic can’t stop it. He knew this was coming and He put each one of us in this particular generation to go through Covid-19. And He doesn’t want us to waste the opportunity. He has something here for us, and it could simply be that we continue to be faithful to Him and His goodness even when our circumstances (frankly) suck. Or maybe it could be that this pandemic will be the making of you. Maybe this time where we have no choice but to Sabbath will be the thing that draws you to God in a way you never imagined. You’ll never know if you don’t lean in and look for the Lord and the future He has planned.