“‘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.’” – Jeremiah 29:11
“Why did God allow…?” “What will my life be like…?” “Does anybody else know…?”
Questions from the lips and hearts of human beings have started with such words for long ages past, and many of our own questions still do.
“Why did God allow my grandma to die?” “What will my life be like after my kids leave home?” “Does anybody else know what it feels like to be this lonely?” “Why does God allow this disease to ravage my body?” “What will my life be like after we settle in to this new home in this new community?” “Does anybody else know what it’s like to battle this addiction?”
We would like to be able to connect the dots, wouldn’t we? We would like to be able to look into the future and see what it holds for us. We would like to be assured that others do know what we’re going through and, more importantly, that others care. But we can’t always connect the dots; we can’t ever look into the future. Many times others don’t know what’s going on in our lives, and sometimes they don’t even care.
So what are we to do when answers to those questions remain a mystery?
The declaration of God recorded by the prophet Jeremiah point us to God’s answer. We look to the Lord. The answers to all of those questions are not a mystery to him. Nothing happens in this world that he doesn’t see. Nothing happens in our life that does not concern him. Everything has his divine purpose in mind.
His purpose is “to prosper you and not to harm you.” His purpose is “to give you hope and a future.” Far beyond mere earthly prosperity and a hope-filled future on earth, the Lord works for our spiritual prosperity and the sure hope of an eternal future in heaven. Everything he plans and does is with this purpose in mind—through faith in the Son of God whom he sent to be our Savior, we will one day live with him in heaven.
What comfort that is when we aren’t always able to connect the dots of life. What security that gives us when we can’t see the specifics of the future. What peace that provides when others just don’t seem to know or care.
The Lord knows. The Lord cares. The Lord plans. The Lord controls. All of it, with your soul’s best interests in mind.