(By Rachel Joyce)
One thing I love about our God is that He is alive and active in our everyday lives. His plans for us are not just general and vague. It’s not just that He saved us and has a glorious future planned for us and will someday tie up the loose and tattered ends, so that all will be redeemed, although that is true. He is the Redeemer of our souls. But He wants us to know Him in the specific minutes of our days as Redeemer and Lord.
This truth is in beautifully portrayed in Jeremiah 29:11, especially in the original language. I cannot read Hebrew, but Strong’s Concordance is an invaluable resource. This is the verse in the KJV:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
The word “thoughts” has to do with intentions and plans. The word “think” means to plait (braid), to weave. God is not just “thinking thoughts” toward us, He has specific plans that are unique to each of us. And, as far as the braiding goes...if you’ve ever braided hair, you know that in order to braid a head of hair, you have to gather up all the hair in your hands. You have to be careful to make sure no piece is outside the circle of your hands, so you are holding it all. Your fingers separate the hair into three strands and then you weave them around and through each other until all the separate pieces fit smoothly together into one beautiful braid. Throughout the process your hands are all over that hair and your grip is firm. You never let go. If you’re braiding someone else’s hair, you are close enough that they can hear your breath and feel the pressure as your fingers work. So it is with our God. He gathers up the pieces of our lives--not just the pretty pieces, all of them--including the broken and ugly ones. He gently and firmly works over and through, as He redeems and transforms. Not one event, not one tragedy has slipped out of His grasp, out of His power to redeem it to bring something beautiful from it. The breath of His power is upon us as He works to bring us to our “expected end.” Strong’s defines the “expected end” as the “thing I long for/reward.” The ESV translates it as a “future and a hope.” How blest we are!
I pray today that we will live in the good of the reality of Jeremiah 29:11.