'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
Over the last few months, we have all been thinking about what our future will look like and what aspects of this new reality we would like to keep, and which to jettison, as we go into a future that this virus has determined for us.
We have heard politicians, religious leaders and pundits speak on the subject.
Many articles have been written offering us prophetic words in the true sense of the word, applying our knowledge of the past to assess our present, and to imagine our future could be.
The future is important to us, we worry about it, we plan for it, and mostly we look forward to it coming. All this because we imagine ourselves as being in control of our future. In a small way we can determine what comes next, but the real future is God's. Many of Jesus's parables are to do with the future consequences of our actions today. In them, sons return to their fathers after causing and suffering great hurt, seeds sprout producing abundant crop, unlikely people take charge of injured travellers.
The verse from Jeremiah comes in the first half of the chapter where the prophet tells the exiles in Babylon that God's wish is for them to settle down, to marry, have children, build houses, sow and harvest crops. They can do all this because their deliverance from exile, although on its way, is some way off.
God knows the length of our exile; He knows when and how our deliverance will come. In the meantime we can live our lives in the certainty that God knows where our future lies and that we will ‘be glad that tomorrow has come' when it does.
I liked this article written for the RSA at the beginning of April.
Lord plant, nourish and strengthen in us the seed to trust your promise that our exile will end. We acknowledge that our safety, prosperity and all our future is in your hands. We thank you and praise you now and for the ages to come.
Pray for those members of our church family living in care homes – Pauline Craven, Ken Taylor and George Hore – and for the staff working there.