“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV)
Have you ever been somewhere you didn’t want to be? Maybe it was a job, a town, or a marriage. Maybe it was a stage in life, like singlehood, or a state in life, like a disability. It’s very possible that as you read this, you’re wishing you were somewhere else — anywhere else — living a different life, but you know it’s not likely that anything is going to change any time soon.
God has a word for you. It’s the same word he gave a group of people when they were stuck in another country, exiled from their homeland. They’d folded their arms and said, “We’re going to wait this thing out, and when we get home, we’ll start living our lives.”
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God told them, “You’re not going home any time soon, so start making your lives here. Plant gardens, buy homes, let your children get married, and pray for the peace and prosperity of the place where you’re currently living because, by doing that, you too will be blessed with peace and prosperity” (Jeremiah 29:5-7).
Don’t invest your energy in hopes of leaving; instead invest your energy in the people around you. Don’t be physically present but mentally somewhere else, thinking of the future or the past, thinking of someplace else. Our journey with Jesus requires we be fully present in the present.
You may feel like you’re in exile, too, but God is still working in your life, and his message to you is: Dig in and fully embrace the life around you.
Talk About It
How has your attitude affected your contentment in the place you are right now?
What can you do to embrace the life and place in which God has placed you?
Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, is a story of God’s faithfulness during struggles with bipolar disorder, divorce, and economic uncertainty.
This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.