June 5, 2021

Affirming Message: I Will Bloom Where I Am Planted!

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem into Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters: multiply there and do not decrease.”—Jeremiah 29:4-6

The first thing we might notice from God’s message to the Israelites is that they were going to be in captivity for some time; it appeared for generations. This was not going to be an overnight, quick turn-around thing. He was not extending a “get-out-of-jail-free-card” to them just because they belonged to or were crying out to him. And the second thing is that God did not want them to sit around feeling sorry for themselves, throwing pity-parties, or dying in their circumstances, but they were to thrive and bloom where they were planted for the time being. And that is what they learned to do. It was not until the time of Daniel, who read the scrolls, saw God’s command and promise, and began fasting and praying for an early release for them that God said yes to letting them go back home. By then they had already been in captivity about 70 years.

We very seldom get “optimal” or perfect anything. Most of the time we are working with lesser conditions or making the best of what’s not the greatest. We want perfectly ordered and optimal, but we don’t always or very seldom get that. Even so, we are called to trust in God’s provision, his promises, his care, timing, power, and wisdom.

I’m thinking of years ago when we knew we were going to relocate so my husband could attend the seminary. At the time he was finishing up his degree at Indiana University and our plan was as soon as that was done then we would move to the next step. We wanted to be able to save for the move, be better prepared, and get into a better position financially. We wanted to go, were excited to go, but nothing in our life seemed to say this was the right or optimal time; in fact, everything seemed to stack up against us. During our plans and preparation we lost our son and entered into a season of grieving, a dear friend died adding to the weight of grief, our finances and life seemed to dry up fall  apart. Nothing said, “it’s a good time to continue forward, move, or do this.” It was during that time a recruiter came to meet with my husband and he told the recruiter everything we were up against and that we have made a decision to wait another year or so. The recruiter’s response was not one of one of agreement, instead he challenged my husband with “Why are you waiting? You should plan to come this fall and start your classes. There is no better time than right now; now is the optimal time.” Through his words we heard God say yes you are in a season of struggle on every level, but I want you to trust me that I will make you bloom where you are planted!

The Israelites had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians. It was a sorrowful time. They were away from their homeland, away from their environment, away from their farms, homes, and routines. They were mourning their loss and waiting for God to deliver them. But God told the Israelites not to wait to be back in their homeland or for optimal conditions to be productive. They did not need to wait until they were back at home, on their own turf, in familiar surroundings; but to do the things right where they were, even while they were still in captivity that would cause them to not just live, get by, or be okay, but to blossom.

Sometimes life is not going well, sometimes we are in a season of sickness, sometimes we are in a financial drought or bind, between jobs, in jobs we don[‘t really like, sometimes we can only see gray or darkness, sometimes we are grieving a loss, or sorrowed in our spirit; these conditions or season do not seem the right time to do anything except grieve, wait them out, or be still, but God says trust me with your heart and life, live boldly in faith and he will cause it to be a time for blooming a time for our faith and trust, and hope to increase.  

Good times, bad times, trying times, optimal times, whatever times we are going through God is with us. We are never out of God’s hand and our situations are never beyond his ability to make them into something good.

God understands your path better than you do. Where you see unlikely God sees possibility. Where you see darkness, God sees the light. Where you see loss, God sees gain. Where you see death, God sees new life. As Isaiah wrote, God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa 55:8-9), he is altogether different from us.   

I have a row of crocuses in front of my home. They amaze me that regardless of the elements they bloom right on time. The snow can dump on them, but they will bloom, the ice can come, but they will come up. They do not need sun, warmth, optimal conditions; when it is time for them to blossom, they will. As long as God is our God, no matter what trying times we are experiencing God will make a way and show us his ways, making a season that seems like only darkness or drought, become one where we blossom and bloom. Let’s Pray,

Dear God, you do more than tell us to make the best of something, more than just get by, but you call us to bloom and blossom even when conditions or circumstances don’t appear to be conducive to doing so. Thank you for your creative powers always at work in our lives and circumstances. Even when things look bleak may we always put our trust in you. Amen     

Affirmations I Can speak Over Myself:    

I (name) will bloom where I am planted. Amen

I (name) do not need to wait until the perfect time has come or wait for everything to line up perfectly; but I will trust God and bloom where I am planted. Amen

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