“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 (NIV)
I have always loved this verse. Back in 1996, I saw it on an electronic sign at the Christian book store between the university and the main artery on the east side of our town. I passed the business on the way to my dad and stepmother’s to pick her up for her trip to receive her Cancer treatment. My route took me by there three times a day for four days a week.
A young woman at church has recently graduated from high school. She and her brother have been homeschooled, in a Christian setting for a few years. Prior to homeschooling, they attended a Christian school. Her grandmother is a very close friend of mine. My friend told me her granddaughter chose this verse as her guiding verse.
The young woman’s graduation open house is in early June. When she opens the card I chose for her, she find joy and, I hope, blessing from it. All I can say right now is when I saw the card, I immediately thought of her.
Back in January, a man who grew up across the street from us had a major stroke. He has been hospitalized ever since. He’s in his third medical institution, a rehab facility. He recently had a pump implanted to keep the spasticity of his limbs under control. The day before he was to have surgery to place the pump, his wife told him this procedure would give them hope. She wrote in his blog, “He looked at me and said, (in a whisper) “hope and a future.” These words buoy this couple during this lengthy stretch of trial.
When I read what he said to her, I felt joy and peace come over me. So often we find ourselves almost locked into a circumstance and feel that there is no way to move forward back into what we consider ‘normal’. But, God shows us that He will be there no matter what. What makes this so precious to me is He first spoke these words to people in exile.