“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Can we even remember back to New Year’s Day 2020! ? New Year! New Goals! New Plans! I don’t know about you, but very little of what I planned for 2020 has happened and quite a few things I didn’t plan and none of them good (5 weeks of my life disrupted from having Covid-19 being one of them) have happened! !
And looming before us there are still 137 uncertain days left in 2020!
So we buckle down! We hope things will be different. We pray our lives will get back to normal. But here’s the ultimate question. Whose normal? God’s or Ours?
If your normal was anything like my normal before 2020, it was very Americanized; even in my Christianity. I confess, especially in my Christianity. Nice house, two cars, nice job, nice church, cute dog, full fridge, 2nd fridge almost full, lots of outings, lots of entertainment, lots of friends, lots of travel to family and more friends…and on and on!! Oh and Jesus! Of course, Jesus!
Now months into a loss of nice job, the nice house not selling, can’t really go anywhere in the two cars, many restrictions for any outing, much less entertainment (even football is gone!) fewer family and friend interactions thanks to travel bans and a certain virus spreading…and much more new normal that I really don’t like very much….I have to wonder if my normal, if my plans have been anything like God’s normal and His plans?!
Jeremiah wrote the letter containing verse 29:11 to a large group of Jews who were hauled off to Babylon. Captivity and Slavery were these Jews new normal! It wasn’t their plan. It wasn’t their “dream life.” But it was God’s and Jeremiah was writing to tell these captives that if they would submit to God’s plan, they would thrive; they would have a future and a hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you!” The Year 2020 is not a mistake. It is not a surprise to God. He isn’t scrambling to try and figure how to get us out of this. God has a plan for the world. We see it being played out every day and probably in more detail than we really want to know…if we are honest. The choice is ours. Thrive in God’s normal which does not change with circumstances. Or keeping butting our heads against the brick wall called the Year 2020!
Solomon mapped out many goals and plans for his life and had the resources to carry them all out, but at the end of all his efforts he found it all fruitless; all vanity of vanities. Jeremiah had few comforts, no resources to carry out any plan and spent a good deal of time in a muddy pit as a prison. And yet, he could write a letter etched with deep conviction to his fellow Israelites held in exile in Babylon declaring God’s sovereign plan for all of them.
God’s Word tells us all about God’s plan…God’s normal. The Holy Spirit guides us! Jesus advocates for us! God the Father still sits on His Throne! It;s a daily choice. Which will we choose? Our normal or God’s normal?!