Earlier this spring, Kenne and I went to a farmers’ market in Washington DC. It was fun to see the wide variety of wares, including cherry and pineapple ketchup. Among the many things we sampled were stuffed figs. Oh, were they delicious!
Jeremiah’s vision has a basket of good figs–delectable–and bad figs, which I can only imagine to be disgusting!
The good figs represent those who are carried away into exile, watched over by God. While there, God tells Jeremiah to encourage them to make Babylon their home, plant gardens, have children, pray for their adopted city.
Sometimes, though most of us don’t choose being uprooted, it is the very thing that helps us realize our dependency on God.
This spring we had a single row of trees dug out of our field. While we still value the windbreak value of them, the larger widths of updated implements was too wide for the stretch of soil between the trees and the edge of the field.
For two days the big equipment toiled in digging them up. Then for another week, Kenne hauled the trees home for future fuel. There are still four big piles out in the field that will have to be dealt with after the harvest.
Uprooting is not an easy process. It is hard. It is messy. It takes a long time to come back to a new “normal.”
God encourages the exiles with these words: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11,12
This verse is often taken out of context, used in good, uplifting ways. However, when I realize that this verse is written to exiles, families uprooted, people who had been marched off through the barren wasteland between Jerusalem and Babylon, the impact of this promise multiplies.
What is the burden you are carrying today? What have you lost? Do you need the reassurance that God has a plan for you, a plan for good?
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11,12