"For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29: 11-13, HCSB).
If I could think of one portion of scripture from my childhood, it would be this. Growing up in Christian schools, it was often quoted, often referred to, often given as an answer to life's unanswered questions.
And it's truly a beautiful verse.
The problem is me.
There's an area of my life that's really hard right now. It's been really hard for me to see just how it could be God's plan. Just how it could be good.
That's probably why this scripture has been preached everywhere at me lately.
From online reading, to a class I took, to the pulpit, I've heard a resounding theme "God's plans are good."
It's as if my heart as been asking, do you truly believe this? Or has life's trials and hardships started to wear you down?
As a child this truth was much easier to believe than now.
It's something that is far easier to believe when life is going just fine, when happiness is in sight.
But when I'm in the middle of difficulities, when my days drag on and on, when life has me feeling run down, defeated, it's a little harder for me to take. A little harder for me to believe.
I feel the doubt seeping in.
I don't like to admit that. Already I want to delete the sentences up above. But it's real and true and genuine.
Sometimes I doubt.
In our Influence Network class Tuesday night, Heather Boersma reminded us that the invitation is out there for us to trust Jesus with our everything. She laid out scripture so beautifully, reminded us that God's promise is His presence in our lives, all of the time. All things I know, but it was so refreshing to hear anew.
He's always present. Always near, even when it's hard to see Him at work.
This life can be so painful. It's taken me along time to see that, to experience that. I've been struggling lately, not understanding why I have to go through certain trials, why my life is the way it is.
But He's there, and He has good things in store.
Not a truth I've always been ready to hear, and one that is hard to share when loved ones are going through hard times.
But it's there. It's scripture. And it's true.
So what do we do, when what we feel and what we know to be true don't match up?
Honestly pray, and give Him the befuddled pieces, seek His presence
As Heather reminded us all Tuesday night, God's presence is a beautiful gift that's always there. And this is what happens when we bask in His presence:
"You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock!" (Isaiah 26:3-6, HCSB).
He is our rock, our strength, our everything. And so, I honestly give Him my doubt. I give Him the pieces of my everyday. And I let Him grow new life out of it all.
Because His plans are good.
Gracious Lord Jesus. I know that your plans for me are good and true and right, but I really don't see that right now. Please give me your peace as I go down this hard road. May your presence be evident in my life today and everyday. Amen.