What a great summer. It is so much fun making my own dinner with my friend Luke and enjoying shopping with other friends. I just finished one of my summer classes last Friday. It has been a very growing experience, and I really learned a lot this summer. It was such a blessing and great idea to take Systematic Theology 1 over the summer. I learned so much just being able to focus on this single class. God is sure great and gracious. One of the greatest moments of this class was when after talking about the attributes of God, the teacher had each one of us pray to thank Him for one of His attributes that we are grateful for. Although I had this class for 4 hours a day, it seemed like the time just flew by too fast. God has made the summer very productive so far.
Great news! While at the Western Union with a friend of mine, a Dr. who I had never met introduced herself to me, and asked if I am interested in getting prosthetic arms. I told her I already have a pair, but she said she can help get another one. Then I thought about it for a while and said to myself it never hurts to try, and besides I never know how it will turn out. While I thought about it more and more, it reminded me that I have been praying for miracle arms. God does his miracles in various ways. Those of you who has been praying with me please continue to pray with thanksgiving for his faithfulness. He carries his providence to whomever he chooses.
This is a good time to mention Jeremiah 29:11. When God says he has a plan for each one of us, whether Jew or gentile, His plan is for good and is always for the best. And when he says he has a plan for us, we can be confident for two good reasons. First, His plan can never fail. Second, He cannot lie for it is against His nature. Let me introduce why Jeremiah 29:11 has been a verse that speaks to me. Although Jeremiah is technically writing for the Jews, the word of God remains true for anyone who is facing what the Jews were facing individually. At one point after losing my arms, like the Jews, I thought I had no future whatsoever. This was until, through this particular verse, Christ confirmed to me that I have a future. I believe that this is how some of the Jews felt after they heard these words of encouragement from the Lord.
Jeremiah himself was born at a time of violent changes in an intense power struggle. Jeremiah witness several kings of Israel fall and rise, as they went through the circle of disobedience against the Lord. At last, King Josiah was able to make a great change, but it didn’t last for too long for he was killed in a battle with an Egyptian king. That was a big setback for Jeremiah to witness as the one king among all of the kings of Judah, who had committed his heart to the Lord and the welfare of his countrymen, killed like this in just a short of a period of a time. Later, when Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem, the people were soon facing hunger and other needs. Jeremiah not only was distress with all of this, but he was physically hurt by being throwing into prison for telling the truth. In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar tore down Jerusalem with everything in it, including the Temple. I can imagine the Jews probably thinking, we are no longer a people anymore, and we are forever slaves for they had lost something that was really precious to them—the temple, which was the symbol of God’s protection. They probably were thinking we have no future anymore. On the contrary, the greatest thing about our Lord is that when man says it is over, God says life has just begun.
As they were transported to Babylon, they were told to seek and pray to God while there. Jeremiah affirms to the exiles that their future rests in the Lord’s almighty hands. He tells them God has a plan to provide them with a future and a hope. This future includes their restoration to their homeland. God’s plans are always certain and specific. Our hope in God is always something that is ready but not yet. This is why we trust and believe his will, even when we cannot see it (Rom 5:5 and 8:24). He will meet the expectation of our faith, sometime even beyond the expected. This is why Jeremiah wanted to continue to trust the Lord even in his times of distress.
After I put my trust in the Lord, I did not view my future the same way. I knew none of my problems mattered as long as Lord God is near. This leads me to say that no matter how hard life hunts me down, I will win at the end. This is the hope and future that God stored for me. Halleluiah, He even accomplished some of them even in this life. When I thought life was over for me in the hospital, He said it has just begun. He taught me how to live again.
After my class last week, I clear saw His sovereignty in my life, and He is the one who is ultimately in control of the universe. I could not even imagine my future when I was in the hospital, but even a family friend told my father that it would be better to end my life. Just as the Apostle Paul once said, I will say, if I now live, it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. As the world sees me as a broken vessel, may they also see God’s power in a way that they cannot deny He is the one, the ultimate reality. The evidence that God has given me concerning my hope and future gives me the courage to enduring the trials and pain of this through the power of the triune God. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill” (Numbers 23:19). This is just a brief insight into how I have been able to apply Jeremiah 29:11 in my life.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Kesmy You constantly inspire and encourage me and I am sure so many others! Your testimony of Gods faithfulness holds so much truth and passion!