11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

The days spent in exile had to be some of the hardest days imaginable for the Israelites.  When the Babylonians invaded their land and brought them back as captives to live in Babylon, fear was all around them.  Families were split apart.  Jobs were lost.  Food was scarce and all their plans for the future were suddenly gone.  Even their ability to be creative and dream was compromised.  

We don’t have to have experienced exile to understand how quickly life can change. Just 7 days ago, we saw everything around us begin to change.  Whole states began to close their schools.  This was followed quickly by church closures and empty airplanes.  Jobs are being lost.  Families are being split apart.  People are getting sick.  No wonder fear and grief are all around us.  

Yet even in the midst of all of these things, God is inviting us now as he did then to keep working to find a way forward.  God says don’t lose hope “for I know the plans I have for you.”  Do you hear it?  God not only knows the way forward but God is the way forward.  All of our big plans for the foreseeable future are gone but God is not.  As long as that remains true, there is hope.  I pray today that we will call upon the Lord with all our heart and trust that he is listening.  Then and only then will our restless souls find rest in him.  

Let us pray.  Dear God, I am trying so hard to believe your promises are true and that you do have a plan for my life.  Help me in my unbelief.  Be my hope when I have none.  Be my victory song over all that threatens to overtake me and those I love.  Show me the way forward.   Amen.