It's one of the most oft-quoted verses in all of Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." I've written before about how the "you" in this verse is most properly actually translated "ya'll" - a collective for God's people - but there's something else you can't afford to miss about this verse.
God speaks it in Babylon.
In fact, when you read this verse in the context of its passage, you see that the theme of the whole section is basically this: "live and thrive wherever God has you, even if it's not where you want to be."
God tells His people He has a plan in a place where there doesn't seem to be a plan. He tells them He has a hope in a place where there doesn't seem to be a hope. He tells them He has a future in a place where they cannot fathom a future. Most of us would look right back at God and say, "Yeah, I'm not seeing it."
Or, more holy-sounding, "Lord, I cannot see Your plan right now, and I don't know what You're up to. Get me out of this place so that I can see You again. Get me out of here so that I know You are good."
But this passage says God is good right here. There's a plan right here. This is part of it. This place is part of it. If you want to be part of the plan, you have to be part of this place because the plan. starts. now.
Without today, there is no tomorrow. Without now, there is no later. Without the present, there is no future. Everything that's going to happen starts right here, right now. It has to.
And that means that if you want to live and thrive in a land of your own, start right now by living and thriving here. It means if you want to go home, make home right where you are. It means if you want God to move you, you have to let Him into the place you're living now. He's got to be where you are so that you can get to where He's taking you.
The plan. starts. now.
It's hard to hear. I get it. My life is not where I thought it would be at this point, not where I hope it's going to be five years from now. But it's here, and there's a lot of blessed work that I can do right here and a lot of hope that I can have and a lot of lessons that I can learn, and if I spend all of today waiting for tomorrow, then I'm going to miss out on both of them. Live and thrive wherever God has you, even if it's not where you want to be.
Because tomorrow, it may not be where you are. But if you don't live and thrive today, you've got nothing.