From ashes I rise
By Teresa LeNeave
Waiting on God's promises can be exasperating unless we wait in faith, without anxiety. That's easier said than done, but as you know, by exercise of use faith gets stronger.
Time seems to stand still when we're suffering. Just think about the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. Thirty-eight years he waited. When Jesus asked him if he "wanted" to be healed, his answer was not an immediate "Yes, Lord", but it was "I have no man to put me in the pool when the water is moving."
While we wait, do we complain that we have no one to help us? If so, who are we waiting for? For man's help, or God's help? The Bible says in "due season" (at the right time), we will reap if we don't faint. If we don't give up too early we reap the harvest.
The book of Jeremiah tells the story of Jews being exiled to Babylon where they were to be captive for 70, long and sometime painful, years. An amazing thing about the story is that God continued to give them hope right in the middle of judgment. Even after they were in captivity, Jeremiah sent them letters to warn and encourage them. This tells me, God never gives up on us.
God used Jeremiah to tell them they would be exiled, but not annihilated. In essence, he told them they'd suffer awhile, but not to worry he had a good plan for their future. The kicker was that they needed to stay positive and participate.
In Jeremiah 29:5-14 this is what God said: "Build homes and plan to stay. Plant gardens and eat the fruit they produce. Marry and have children. Then, find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away. 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. .... You will be in Babylon for 70 years, but then I will come and do for you all the good things I promised and I will bring you home again. 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. In those days, when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. ... I will bring you home again" (NIV).
It may seem like eternity while we wait for a promise to be fulfilled, but God is faithful. God said, "Be productive while you wait."
Your world may not be what you want right now, but be productive wherever you are.
Jeremiah had prophesied the Jews would be ripped from their homeland, but he also said, "In 70 years you will come back home."
To prove he believed the Word the Lord gave him, Jeremiah bought real estate in Jerusalem which made a profound statement to the nation, "We're coming back. He will restore us." For 70 years someone else would use his land, but he knew and believed, when he returned God would give it back to him. From ashes they rose. God had a plan to prosper them; to bless them.
God cares about you and me just as much as he did the displaced Jews. He will restore you, too. Be faithful, positive, and participate in you're restoration. God is near even if you don't feel like he is. He is helping you every step of the way! From ashes we rise.