The Herald Bulletin
---- — When I was a young girl, I had plans for what my future would be.
I had plans to live in an exotic place. Of course, as a youngster, exotic meant the campground at Shakamak State Park or the drainage ditch behind my cousin's house in Eau Gallie, Fla. So, when I found myself living in a parsonage in the middle of rattlesnake-infested prairies and hundreds of prairie dog towns littered with blowing sage brush, it wasn't what I had planned.
I had plans to marry a dark, rakishingly handsome man, very Rhett Butlerish. So, when I found myself married to a sandy-haired man of average height, it wasn't what I had planned.
I had plans for children, too. There would be four: first a boy in the spitting image of his father, then a girl with blond hair and curls, followed closely by a set of fraternal twins, a boy and a girl who would dazzled everyone with their dimples and freckles. So, when the girl came first, complete with mousy brown hair the exact shade as my own, followed four years later with a blond-haired boy who kept us so busy we had no desire to try for more, it wasn't what I had planned.
As a planner, I find comfort in the words of Jeremiah 29:11: "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 a hope and a future." It gives us great comfort to know that God has planned for us the same things we have planned for ourselves: prosperity, safety, security.
But that's just one sentence in the middle of a paragraph. If we put that sentence into context, the meaning becomes quite a bit different.
The Israelites had been taken captive by the Babylonians. Some had become quite comfortable in their captivity. Some, like Daniel, remained faithful. But all along, God had said they would remain captives for only 70 years. The entire paragraph (Jeremiah 29:10-14) starts with God promising to bring back his people. He tells them of his plans for them, and then says that when they return, he knows what the people will do. "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," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
God has plans for us, but are we doing what He has planned? In the midst of the messes we make, in the middle of our captivity to sin, God is saying, "I know the plans I have for you. I have planned that you will find me when you seek me with everything you have."
Are we doing what God planned for us? I pray God never looks at us and says, "Oh, my children. This isn't what I had planned."
Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.