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 (NIV)

A few months after my husband left me and I was struggling to provide for myself and my two children, my mother gave me a gift. It was a simple frame in which she painted some flowers along with
today’s scripture verse. I remember at the time being surprised at the gift because of its simplicity. Being very talented, my mother could have created a beautiful landscape, but this is what she chose to paint. Obviously, the gift was in the message of the verse. Mom knew I was struggling and that I needed this simple message of hope.

When Jesus was born in a manger, to a virgin and a carpenter, I would imagine many would have thought it was a crazy plan. “There has to be a better way,” they might have thought. But God was not surprised at anything that happened in the story; God could have made a huge spectacle of sending his son to earth. But he knew what the people needed… a message of hope.

The next time it feels like things are falling apart, look for that simple message of hope. You just might find that, instead of falling apart, things are falling into place.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your gift of hope. Help me to trust your plans for my future. Amen.

Laurel – Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Resurrection Lutheran Church, Marion, I