Embracing change

By Larry Platner

Day 1

If you look back at your life can you think of a year or even a period of several months when you didn’t experience a significant change of some sort? Change is normal, some we choose, some we do not. Learning how to navigate change well is vitally important to our well being.

About 2,400 years ago a significant number of Israelites experienced a dramatic change in their life.

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'Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 2 This was after King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem.' NLT

Jeremiah 29:1

These exiles did not initially navigate change well. They set up a refugee camp outside of Babylon, anticipating a quick return to Judea, a return to normality as they knew it. God though had another plan for them as Jeremiah explained in a letter to them.

'This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”' NLT

Jeremiah 29:4-7

I cannot think of a more drastic change then being uprooted from your home, marched 1,100 kms, with the barest of necessities, and forced to settle in the shadow of your conqueror’s capital city. How could God allow this? Yet as we see from Jeremiah’s letter, God was in it.

How about you? When changes occur in your life, especially the unwanted and unexpected ones, do you believe they catch God by surprise or that he is unconcerned? Or do you believe God is in them? Are you able to make the following words of God for the exiles to Babylon your own?

'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.' NLT

Jeremiah 29:11