"'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.'" Jeremiah 29:11
The first time I heard this verse was during a desperate phone call to our pastor at two in the morning when my husband had lost his job. These words didn't do much to comfort either one of us that night. We were reeling with raw emotions like anger, anxiety, loss and inadequacy that accompany an experience like this. We had a young family, a hefty mortgage, a car payment and we felt abandoned by our God.
Our world was turned inside out and my husband's self image plummeted fast. We knew in our heads that these words were true but our hearts needed more time. It sure didn't seem like God had plans to prosper us or give us hope, at all. To us, it seemed we were the farthest thing from His mind.
It was difficult to dream of our future those days when we were all consumed with making it through each day, week, month. But, we found out that every day was a new future and God provided for us. Every day we had food on the table and clothes on our back. Every week we paid our bills. Every month we paid our mortgage. Somehow, God not only provided but prospered us.
Eventually my husband found another job...and it closed its doors a few years later. But this time, instead of reeling with raw emotions, we hung onto hope. We knew from the last time that God does make plans for us; plans to prosper us, to give us hope and a future. We knew that God would take care of us. He had something better in store for us like He did before. We chose hope and started dreaming again of what the future might hold.
The journey God's Word took from our heads to our hearts was a difficult one. It was painful. It was repeated. But eventually, we "got it." When our hearts became aligned with God's words, like in Jeremiah, God ignited our imaginations. Our desires aligned themselves with God's desires for us and our future took shape. It was like adjusting the focus on a camera lens. Slowly the world came into focus. What looked blurry and shapeless a moment before was now clear and identifiable.
This last cornerstone stands to remind us that God truly is our provider of every thing (Jehovah Jirah). It stands to remind us that God does hold our future. He plans to prosper us, not to harm us.