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. Then you will call on 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. [Jeremiah 29:11–13]
Another well loved passage is these few verses from the prophet Jeremiah. They are written to the exiles in Babylon who feel that they are lost now they are no longer in their ‘promised land’. In the passage they are encouraged to live their lives, build homes, get married and have children – to continue their lives. The passage then moves on to say that God has not forgotten them, or the promises made to the children of Israel. These verses remind the people that God has a plan, even if they can’t see it or understand it.
For us, living thousands of years later, the words also offer a great deal of reassurance. No matter what is going on in the world or in our lives, even when all seems pointless, God has a plan. We may not see it or always understand it, but it is there. This doesn’t mean that everything will be easy, but that ultimately God is our hope and future.
The words remind us that if we hold onto God, even in a world that may have lost its way, God will hear our prayers. We are also reminded that if we seek God with all our hearts, we will find God. These words are encouraging and comforting, especially for those who are facing uncertainty and difficulty.
God of Jeremiah,
you love us with a steadfast and endless love;
you remember us even when we forget you.
Help us to remember that even when all is dark, you are our light;
when we feel lost and alone, you are with us;
when we feel that life is too difficult, you are our strength and shield.
Draw near to us Lord.
Embrace us in your loving arms,
and help us to hold on to your promises,
for your love endures forever.