I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 (ESV)
Heavenly Father, this oft-quoted much-loved verse simultaneously confronts us and consoles us. It confronts that part of us that wishes you’d simply rubber-stamp—signing off on the plans we make for ourselves.
We’d write stories that include as little disruption and change as possible; few surprises and no suffering; tons of familiarity and copious predictability… and therefore, very little need for faith and waiting. In essence, we’d love for you to be more of a Sugar Daddy than Abba Father. Thank you for your kindness and patience with us.
At the core of our new heart, that’s not what we really want. We don’t really want you to be the clay and us the potter, not really. We trust you and we love you, Father. You gave Jesus to us and for us; of course you’ll give us everything else we actually need (Rom. 8:32).
It’s just that sometimes your plan includes things that, in the moment, don’t really feel like they’re for our welfare. There are stretches when it seems like you answer our prayers with a disproportionate amount of “No’s” to “Yes’s”. Sometimes the future you’ve planned for us doesn’t feel very hope-full.
Healing doesn’t come quick enough, and the next bit of hard news comes too quick. Our kids struggle and cars break down; furnaces go kaput and good friends move on. “Kings” make life crazy and politics turn our stomachs. Instead of grace upon grace, sometimes life feels like spin upon spin.
And yet, Father, we know better. So grant us fresh grace to wait upon you for the hope to which you have called us. Turn our whines into worship, our daily carping into carpe diem, and our frets into faith. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’s beautiful and grace-full name.