Posts Tagged ‘#godisthere’

“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

Every follower of Christ has a story with with this verse from the Prophet Jeremiah. For most there is a love-hate relationship with this verse, because it can come across as Pollyanna fluff. When someone is in the midst of a terrible situation, the receiving of this verse can feel emotionally similar to pouring salt into open wounds.

When we are in the midst of suffering, when we cannot see light in the midst of the dark … when the diagnosis is cancer, when the phone call announces the end of life of a loved one, when the child is struggling, when the job has ended, when the letter from the university is a rejection, when your child is being bullied … then people don’t want to hear that God has a plan for our future. That’s because this verse hints that maybe these tough times are also part of His plans and that is hard to comprehend.

It is when one has come through the tough situation, when one is on the other side, this is when the truth and the beauty of this verse is understood and appreciated. This is when the hand of God is evident, because, as we look back it is His peace, His provision, His plan that is so clear.

It is then that we realize that in the midst of the most dark and dangerous valley, when we felt completely alone, He was there, the scaffolding beneath us.

When she arrived at the cliff in the valley, 
there was no room in her soul for fear,
for she knew God had brought her this far
and He would still be with her here.
And though she was waiting to see
what miraculous thing He would do, 
she never let go of His highwind whispers:
"I know the plans I have for you."
-Morgan Harper Nichols

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The image (below) grabbed my attention.

Two hands, one reaching down, the other reaching up.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 9.21.33 PM

In the image I could see the multitude of times that I reached up for the security of the hand of the Father, Creator and Redeemer of my soul.

I remembered the tears falling down my cheeks, the throbbing of my head with worry, and the rapid heartbeat in a desperate state of fear. These were not one memory, one experience, but numerous ones, over the years of my life. Moments that could have been defined as desperate, hopeless, fretful or in despair.

These are normative experiences of any life. They are what we share in our human existence of life. Some days and seasons leave you breathless, lifeless and hopeless. The light at the end of the tunnel seems extinguished, or, at the very least, hidden from sight.

When we reach the point of total desperation, it is often then that we have the strength and wisdom to lift our eyes, our hand to the one who can save us … even if, when we raise our hand, it is in the form of a fist.

Acts 17:27 tells us:

“they might look for God,
somehow reach for him,
and find him.
Of course,
he is never far from any one of us.”

His hand is always waiting for us to raise ours. He already knows our heartache, our hardship … yet we need to raise our hand to receive the love, the support and, perhaps, even the resolution or redemption, that he holds out to us.

May we life our hand, accepting his in ours, for “he is never far from any one of us.”


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