You may heard this famous verse from Jeremiah, “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.” 29:11.
What an awesome promise! We love to print it on plaques and hang it on our walls.
But did you realize that this promise was originally made to the Israelites who had been exiled by God to Babylon? God let the King of Babylon capture Jerusalem and take the Israelites away from their homes. Right before his promise concerning his good plans for them, God told Israel through Jeremiah that they would be in exile for 70 years.
This meant that many of them would die in Babylon – never going back to Jerusalem. The Israelites had been ripped away from the homes they had expected to live in for the rest of their lives. They were now living in a foreign land – exiled – and many of them would die far from their home in Jerusalem.
Do you ever feel like you have been exiled?
The life I expected to live was suddenly snatched away from me when my son, David Glasser, was killed in the line of duty six years ago. My world has changed so drastically that sometimes it feels like I am now living in a foreign land. I’m exiled far from what I thought the rest of my life was going to look like before Davey died.
And today, God is saying to me – and maybe to you – that I will continue to live in this foreign place until he comes to take me home. While I’m here, he has plans for me. He is giving me hope and a purpose.
After his initial famous promise in Jeremiah, God gives us more promises. He tells us that when we pray, he will listen. When we diligently look for him, we will find him.
I know God always keeps his promises – that’s a fact. I have discovered that reading his Word, absorbing what he is saying to me and growing my trust in him gives me the strength and peace I need for each day as I live out the rest of my days…
here in exile.