God was telling the Jewish people to keep living as normally as possible in their distress because in 70 years he would bring them back to their homeland. Even though that was good news, I’m sure 70 years sounded like a very, very long time. Telling them to keep on living as normally as possible while God worked it out was the best thing they could do. Giving up was not an option.
In the same way, in the midst of trouble when we are in crisis, we may feel we have been exiled from the life we knew. Things were better before the storm came into our life. Now we may feel like the promises of God are very far away, but the message Jeremiah brought to the Jewish people in exile is the same for us today. We need to keep on living as normally as possible through our distress because it is the best thing we can do to get through the storm. Giving up is not an option. God has a plan to bring us out just like God had a plan to bring them out.
11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Although the Jews suffered greatly and faced powerful cultural pressures in a foreign land, they maintained their national spirit and religious identity. They may have lost a lot, but they hadn’t lost everything, and so it is with us. Even in the midst of our struggle, we haven’t lost everything. If we will seek God sincerely with our whole heart, we will find Him in the situation like a light at the end of the tunnel. As long as we keep our focus on Him and believe that he has good things in store for us, we can keep going. We can keep putting one foot in front of the other one even when we don’t feel like it, and in time God will bring us out.
Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com and she can be reached at 828-962-8196 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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