Read:  Jeremiah 24:1-10

Focus:  The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.  Jeremiah 24:4b  

The Babylonians carry off a second round of Judah’s best and brightest, leaving behind destruction and no good leadership for their people.  The exiles are taken away from their homeland and forced into the service of a pagan king.  They lost all they had and were demoralized in the process.

It’s into this situation that God’s gives Jeremiah this word:  the exiles are, in fact, the ones who are blessed.  They will be cared for and protected.  They will be carried through and restored.  In the midst of what seems like loss and tragedy, God is up to something bigger.

In our lives this is also the case.  There are times when it seems like the situation is a total loss.  It feels like we’ve been carried off by the events of life and our hopes and dreams are left in ruins.  We find ourselves feeling like slaves of a foreign king and wonder… “where is God?”  The answer is… He is right where you are.  He is up to something bigger.  He has a plan and in the process He will protect you, and carry you, and lead you to a better place.

The exile is part of the journey.  It almost always is, and when we can get our hearts around the fact that God is still God and He still loves us, even in the struggle, life becomes an adventure.  With that understanding we can navigate the difficulties of life with confidence in God’s bigger plan.  You can hold your plans and agenda loosely, and you can look for the opportunities He gives you daily to be His hands and feet.  You realize you can accomplish His purpose, no matter what your circumstances.

On first glance you would have thought those left behind in Judah were the ones that were blessed by God.  But it turns out the ones who appeared to lose everything were the ones that God was going to bless and restore.  And so He did…  and so He does.

God help me to have this big picture perspective when life doesn’t go my way.  Help me to trust that You have good for me, and that in the end You will bring good from the bad things that happen in life.  Help me to hold my plans loosely and to look for Your unfolding plan each day.  Please Lord, give me the gift of faith to navigate life with peace and with confidence, regardless of what comes my way.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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