Are you happy where you are? Happy with your job and your prospects for growth? Happy with your home life, whether married or single? Happy with the house you live in? Happy with the car you drive? Happy with much of anything right now in terms of where you’d like to be?
When God allowed a Babylonian king to swoop into Israel and cart the Hebrews off into exile, you can be sure they weren’t very happy. They’d lost their homes, lost their security, lost their ties to everything they owned. But as a way of further growing their character and painting their future with promise, God gave his people these instructions: Build houses there. Start a family there. Work for the good of your neighbors there. Make the most of this unwanted season by bearing fruit in an unhappy place.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” God told them, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). But don’t expect these promising days just to kick in as payback because you’ve been suffering for a while. Don’t expect to build much on the backs of your constant complaining. Commit to doing something special even in the midst of your current situation. And you’ll find that those “plans” for a “hope and a future” required the relationships you built, the work you invested, and the contentment you chose in the present. Dig in to dig out.
Pray this prayer: Lord, you know I’m not very happy right now. But I’m going to take your advice and let you grow me here. Thank you for not letting me waste my experiences—even these experiences.
Never Could Have Made It by Marvin Sapp