“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.” Jeremiah 29: 11-14a There’s a lot going on in this beautiful sketch of God’s character. He has plans for us and they are great plans. He wishes us to succeed and do well in life. He does not wish to harm us but instead give us hope and a future. God says when you call upon me, pray and seek Him that He will listen and He will be found. I love that God has a plan for each of us and wishes to encourage us on our life journey.
For too many years I only looked at the down side of why certain things happened in my life. I was too busy being angry to remember that God’s plan for my life hadn’t gone away just because I had gone away from God. When I developed MS and had to leave my ministry I just couldn’t get my head around why God let it happen. I thought that somehow God should have put a protective net around me and keep me from facing what other people often have to face in life. I never for a moment believed God gave me MS, I just wondered why me? The other day I stopped asking why and began to ask myself what now? So I started asking myself what is God’s plan for me? That’s going to take time to figure out but at least I’m on the journey again. We are not defined by our past mistakes, sins and goof ups. Things that happen to us are just that, things that happen to us, they are not who we are. Too many of us hold those past experiences, as if they were gold, regardless of how much hurt they brought us. Somewhere along the line we need to let go and reach out to God. It may only be in small things like taking a few minutes to pray at night or asking God’s guidance for you when you have a business meeting but it’s a start, and God is patient. Remember God said, “then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Think about this for a moment. When we pray God listens. We may not think He hears because we don’t always get an immediate response or the answer we want, but that doesn’t nullify the promise. A reason we may not understand how God responds to prayer is simply because we don’t always take time to listen. We say our thing then jump up and go on our way, but prayer is a two-way street and we need to wait and listen for God. We may be surprised how our attitudes towards things will change. And with a little more positive outlook on life we step a little closer to trusting God again.