“What is my purpose, Lord? What am I supposed to be? Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do? How am I going to pay my bills when I can’t get a job? How am I going to repay these student loans when I have no income coming in?”
Sound familiar? I don’t know how many times I have had this conversation with God. I don’t know how many times I have fallen on my knees begging Him for answers…yet, I keep getting drawn back to this verse
"I know the plans I have for you," announces the Lord. "I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
We have all heard that verse. It’s one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible. When we go through hard times, our well meaning friends tell us to look to this verse. I myself have told people to hold to this verse, but does it really help?
It is encouraging, but it’s more encouraging when you look at the verse before it:
“The Lord says, "You will be forced to live in Babylonia for 70 years. After they are over, I will come to you. My gracious promise to you will come true. I will bring you back home.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
Wow, Where was that verse when my friends were trying to lift me up? Where was that verse when I was asking God “What is my purpose?” Yes, the Lord has a plan for the Israelites, but looks like they had 70 years of hard living to go through first. I sure do not hope I have to have 70 years of hard living to go through as well. But, wait…there is more than just being forced to live in Babylon for 70 years, God goes on to promise that “I WILL BRING YOU BACK HOME”.
That’s His promise, He will bring them back home…and then, He tells them that He knows the plan for this. He knows that there is a reason they have to spend those 70 years in Babylon and that there is a reward at the end.
The passage after verse 11 continues:
“Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.
"I will be found by you," announces the Lord. "And I will bring you back from where you were taken as prisoners. I will gather you from all of the nations. I will gather you from the places where I have forced you to go," announces the Lord. "I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you away." ~Jeremiah 29:12-14 (New International Version)
He hears us when we call. His glory is in everything and we will never leave us. He will bring us back to the place He wants us to be. Like a potter, He has made us, He has created us.
The word says in Isaiah:
“Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay. You are the potter.
Your hands made all of us”. ~Isaiah 64:8 (New International Reader's Version)
Have you ever seen the way a potter creates his final masterpiece? He knows the clay. He knows in his mind, what the end product should be and feel and look like. He takes the lump of clay and molds it, over and over again, breaking it down, building it back up, breaking it down, building it up again. This process happens over and over again until finally, the clay conforms to the shape that fits the image of what it’s creator means it to be. Once the final product is complete, the potter shows off his master piece.
God is our potter.
"People of Israel, I can do with you just as this potter does," announces the Lord. "The clay is in the potter's hand. And you are in my hand, people of Israel.” ~Jeremiah 18:6 (New International Readers Version)
As He has molded me and revealed a path to me, my questions have changed. Now they are:
What is Your purpose for me Lord? What is it You want me to do?
Where is it You want me to go?
Lord, I have faith that you will take care of my bills and show me a way to repay my student loans. Where you go I go, where you lead I will follow. Lord, I will work for you and allow you to take care of my paycheck
God is truly faithful. I have been broken down and built back up many, many times. But through out the process, God has revealed a little bit more of His plan for my life, but He only reveals as I submit myself to Him to be molded like the clay. As my life becomes more of a God thing and less of a Darci thing, I am allowing His purpose to shine through, not mine. This life isn’t about me, it’s about how I can serve my Lord. And, the Lord has shown me recently, that He truly does have some amazing plans for me. I can’t wait for this next chapter in my life to unfold and I am humbled to know that it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for God.
Lord, I am so thankful that you are my potter. That you have been patient during my growing pains and that you love me enough to break me down and build me back up because you have your idea in your mind of how I am supposed to be. Thank you for not giving up on this masterpiece even though I have been difficult to work with at times. Lord, I ask your forgiveness for being so stubborn and obstinate and rebellious and I am so grateful that you keep showing up in my life. Thank you Lord, for being You and for loving a sinner like me. Amen
© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon
We are Wonderfully Made (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wonderfully-Made/130178720330362), living to encourage and Equip His People (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Equip-His-People-Ephesians-411-13/170487976325407) and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Psalm-139-with-purpose/183264461708034).