I was at a prayer once a few years ago. I came that evening grudgingly – I wasn’t particularly close to God – bad habits, a busy schedule, distractions and sin kept me at a distance from the Lord. The worst part is that I grew comfortable in my lukewarmness and didn’t want a reminder that my soul had grown cold.
I sat through most of the service with my thoughts wandering to everything but God. I tried to pray. But the words wouldn’t come. Even as the people around me clearly experienced the Lord’s presence, I sat numb and uncomfortable, alternatively wishing the arms on the clock to move faster and jealously wishing that I could feel God’s presence too. I prayed over and over again for the Holy Spirit to touch me…to make me feel something.
I don’t remember what broke me. Maybe it was the preacher who said something that stuck a chord in my heart, but on the last prayer of the service, the walls came crumbling down swiftly and quickly. As I bawled my eyes out and prayed incoherent words, I asked God to lead me… to tell me what He wanted from me. “Jeremiah 29:11,” I heard so audibly, I glanced up to see if someone around me had said it. But everyone was praying around me, not sparing me a glance.
At this point of my life, I didn’t know Scripture very well. I may have grown up in the church and read the Bible occasionally but I did not have Scriptures references memorized (let alone venture into the Prophets or the Old Testament often!). But as I opened my Bible, trying to find where the book of Jeremiah was, I read these words and they became the anthem of my heart for many years:
I drew comfort, hope and strength from those words for the last decade. They sustained me through college and lead me to law school. They were with me as I was sworn in as an attorney and as I started work at a dream job.
But those words aren’t just for me or Jeremiah. They’re for you too, my friend. God knows the plans He has for you, and they are good plans. Let Him lead you to where trust is without borders. There will be ups and downs, but I promise you will bloom and flourish under His watchful care and guidance.