This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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 29:10-13)
I’ve read Jeremiah 29:11 many times in the last couple years, when I’ve needed reassurance that God does have plans for me, and that I could find hope in that. This weekend the thought of God having plans for me took on a new meaning.
The plans that God has for each of us aren’t the same as the sort of plans that someone refers to when, after burning the dinner, they announce, “I have a plan of our to fix this!” And they aren’t the same sort of plans that someone refers to when something breaks and they announce, “I’m sure I can fix it, I have a plan!” These are plans that are conceived in the moment and in response to an event.
I’ve had times where things haven’t gone the way I thought they would, when life just hasn’t been fair. People would try to reassure and help me by saying, “We’ll come up with a plan.” And I’d envisioned God doing the same thing, and found hope in the thought that, because he is such a great God, it would be a great plan.
But God doesn’t come up with his plans for us in the moment, he isn’t acting in response to something that’s just happened and trying to fix it. Rather, everything was in God’s plan beforehand. When we think that no one could have predicted 12 months ago that we would be doing what we are now, God knew because it had all been accounted for in his plan.
And that thought brings me a sense of peace, that God knows, and has known forever, what his plan is for me. It’s not something that he’s making up as he goes along, but rather something that has been painstakingly crafted. God’s got his plan for me sorted, and because I know he loves me I can trust that it is a plan to prosper and not to harm me, a plan to give me hope and a future.