11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,
I love this verse. I call it my ‘life verse’ as I have been reminded of this verse at various points in my life when I really needed to hear it. Most of those times were when I was at the point of making a decision, or when things were not going well for me. I would say things like – “Lord, why am I going through this?” or “Why am I suffering?” or “Why do I have to endure such pain?” And God said, “Because I love you and I want the best for you and even though you are broken, you can be rebuilt into something new, something stronger, something more bold.”
Perhaps many times in our lives, we experience pain or suffering or things don’t go the way we planned, but our plans are not always God’s plans. His plans are higher than ours. Sometimes our plans end up harming us, putting us deeper into debt or putting us around people that are not a good influence on us. Sometimes God’s plans bring us to places we don’t want to go like Jonah! He was so reluctant to go where God wanted him to go because I believe that he was scared. The Ninevites needed to hear about God and were very wicked and God wanted Jonah to go and tell them about God. Questions probably came up like “Why me? What if I get hurt or if people don’t like me? What if it is not safe there?” So Jonah ran away and took the easy way out, but God didn’t let him go…. Most of you know the story. He went on a boat in the opposite direction trying to run away, and a big storm came and Jonah was thrown from the boat and the deep surrounded him, and he sank. But God sent a big fish to swallow him and it coughed him up onto dry land.
Jonah then kept his promise and went to Ninevah to proclaim God’s message and they believed God and proclaimed a fast and gave up their evil ways. God gave Ninevah hope and a future through Jonah! The point is, allow yourself to be used by God and know that God’s plans are not for our harm but to give us HOPE!
Daily Prayer – God, thank you for nudging us to do more. Remind us that your plans are to better us and make us stronger. Help us to accept the plans you have for us.