How many of you have ever read this scripture? The Bible is so full of inspiration, love stories, adventures, and God's promises to His people. These words are so simple, yet mean so very much to me; even taken out of context...
In their fullness, they read like this, Jeremiah 29:11-14 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 hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 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.”
Now, I don't know about you, but I've been in exile...more than once as a matter of fact. At times, I led myself into it. Other times, I was led...And, yet others, I know that, out of love for me, God had placed me there. Remember though, whenever He takes something away from us, or lets us experience that time in captivity; when we ultimately admit our helplessness and begin looking for Him, He will always show up. There isn't a blessing that He doesn't wish to pour out on us. There isn't an ounce of His love that He hides from us. Even when we choose to run from Him, He pursues us with overflowing love and mercy and gives us the grace to turn around and run into His loving arms.
I look back on my life...I see the pain. The loss. The abandonment. I see the heartache that, at times, was almost too much to take..the kind of pain I had to force myself to breathe through, just so I didn't die...and not that I didn't want to die...I did. I see the sin. The hurt inflicted on others. I see the disappointments...the regret...the failures...But wait~far above that, I see my heart made new. I see the old me dying. I see my eyes set on a God who makes me keenly aware of the times He stepped in and blessed me. The forgiveness He so freely gave me. The victories He brought me into. The desires of my heart being fulfilled. His provision and faithfulness. His longing to have me. ALL of me. To use me, as imperfect as I may be, to build His kingdom and to bring people into His presence. I see the people He set on my path...the seeds they planted in me...the utterances from my spirit in THEIR presence that set my life's purpose and destiny into motion. I see my sister in her solitude. In her bravery. In her deep devotion to her Lord and Savior. I see those who reached out to me as God led them to...who prayed for me...who prayed with me...I see me on my face before the Lord who healed me and set me free...
I see my life as nothing without Him and everything with Him.
This Sunday, I will step into brand new territory. I have been called to lead worship on Sunday evenings at my church. While it is such an honor, it is also such a weighty responsibility. My family and I have already begun to experience what the enemy can stir up when he feels threatened. I am choosing to press in. Press through. Fight with all I have. God says that "no weapon formed against us shall prosper". My faith is in Him, His word, and His promises.
Thank you for all who are part of this body of Christ. Thank you for those who have prayed for me and my family; for my ministry as God grows and challenges me. Please continue to lift us up in prayer. I pray that my heart would remain pure. That my eyes would remain fixed on the Lord, and that I would be completely open to anything He wants to do through me.
I want nothing more than to sing people into His presence, and allow them to catch even a glimpse of His heart...Once it was revealed to me, I couldn't help but want to share it.
Be blessed. Thank you all~