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Thoughts of Peace

To be honest, I'd pretty much dismissed the promise so many claim out of Jeremiah 29:11. I'd wondered how that particular verse could possibly be applicable to the caregiving situation. When I'd see it or hear it quoted, I just didn't think I could apply it. It's easy to get tucked away in our caregiver's cave and seriously think there are a few scriptures or passages that do not apply to us. But this morning as I was reading through this chapter I realized something I'd been missing.

I went back up to the first part of the chapter. Jeremiah starts out explaining who he was sending the letter to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive - to the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. So, I read the chapter again with new eyes.

Jeremiah first offered some instruction for those in captivity. Sometimes, caregiving can seem like captivity. We cannot always go places we'd like to go or do things we like to do. Even simple things like getting groceries, coffee with friends, or going to a movie just can't happen. If we are able to get out, it's not as simple or spontaneous as just jumping in the car. It can be pretty complicated. It's easy to feel confined.

Here's what Jeremiah told those who had been carried away into their captivity. He said:


  • take wives - get married
  • have children
  • let your kids get married
  • increase and not decrease 
  • seek the peace of the city
  • pray for your city
  • know the true word of the Lord
These sum up what Jeremiah told the captives in verses 5-9. I think these are great instructions for any situation that feels binding or constraining. One of my first prayers was that I would not become bitter. I could see myself writing books from life's prison cell. It can be so easy to withdraw and feel like we don't have a place or a piece. But we do - we should spiritually increase even in the midst of the storm. Let caregiving drive you to the throne and become more intimate with God. Spiritually, we can increase right where we are.

I must say now that I can hold on to the promise I once discarded. He does have good thoughts toward me. He still promises me a future and a hope - caregiving didn't steal that promise. It may look a LOT different than I thought it would - but His promises still stand. Increase is still possible even in the most difficult situations. 

Today, I will be thankful for this renewed promise. I'll meditate on His promise of hope and peace. My thoughts and prayers will be toward wisdom to know how to increase (spiritually) in the midst of the storm. I'll turn my thoughts to how I can pursue and maintain His peace in my heart no matter what is going on around me. And I will be content in Him as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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