Twenty-eight of us sat around a conference room table, it was the end of the day and a mandatory meeting. The tension in the room moved from face to face like static on clothes just out of the dryer. Two new faces were at the table with us…with us to break the news…the college was reorganizing and downsizing our program. There would be half the classes, and no lunch program. We were all welcome to reapply for the jobs that would be left. A cloud of silence hung in the room while everyone soaked in the tidal wave of change thrust on us. We had 24 teachers and there would be a place for 12 teachers when the reorganization was complete. “Dang it, I just got this job”, the obstacles to getting hired swirled through my mind. “How was I going to get hired again, or even get another job like this one?”. A few days later it was time to teach youth Bible study at church, that would be the first time I ever heard of this mysterious verse “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.
Have you ever found yourself in a place of unexpected circumstances? If you have there is good company in the book of Jeremiah. This was a message from God through the prophet Jeremiah. This message was to the captives from Judah now in Babylon. God was talking to people whose plans and location had been changed. They had been exiled (or dislocated) separated from their native land, their home. Their location, identity, friends, everything changed and unexpectedly at that.
Before God told them He had a plan for them, He gave a few instructions; to build homes, make a life, pray for and marry people of Babylon, have kids and more. When I read the part about settling down in Babylon, I had to take a second look. It just doesn’t make sense to make a life after you’ve been taken captive. But God never told them to get comfortable, and He gave them clear warnings about who to listen to. He then assures them with this famous verse Jeremiah 29:11
Share about a time when your plans got changed unexpectedly?
What has or did God reveal to you? Was it something about who He is, or something about you, a correction, an affirmation?
How did this experience draw you closer to Him?
Have you or did you chose to trust Him?
How did it turn out?
Still new to the area and a newlywed I really had nothing to lose but to trust Him and reapply for the job, leaving it in the hands of God to provide the job or a new opportunity. After a new application process, a new interview and weeks of waiting, I got the job, again.
God has an intentional detailed layout of your life experiences to assemble you into who He has planned for you to be and into the body of Christ.