Posted by: kathryngraves | March 11, 2012

Seeking the Lord in Captivity

Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse most of us could quote. It reassures us of God’s good intentions toward us. But it is placed in a group of verses (10-14) that give a broader perspective. Jeremiah is telling the people of Israel that they will be taken into captivity and that it was for their good that the Lord would do it. This was an awful prophecy for them and when it was fulfulled it came swiftly.

Verse 11 is often misused, I think, to say God promises good times for us. What I believe this verse really promises is our future in heaven. In the meantime – and I say this because 70 years is/was an average lifetime and that’s how long the captivity would last – if we pray to the Lord He will listen, and when we seek Him we will find Him. What more could we ask?

God’s presence in our affliction is the only way we can make it through. We are told this before we suffer. We all know it with our minds. But only through suffering can we experience the truth of that knowledge. We enter a whole new level of understanding.

In verse 14 God says, “I will bring you [back] to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” I was carried away kicking and screaming and terrified when I found out I had cancer. But I prayed and He listened. I desperately sought Him and I found Him. He went with me through everything. I wasn’t spared any physical pain and my emotional anguish was deep. But I knew the most incredible comfort in it all. Jesus went with me through it. During the worst moments I cried out to Him and He heard me and made me aware of His presence. In the middle of my most terrifying night, the night before surgery and two horrific “procedures”, I was allowed to envision the angels protecting me.

In my case, I was returned to the land from which I was taken captive – life without cancer – while I still live on earth. But whatever the length of our captivity, we still have that promise. The Lord is with you.



  1. I was deeply moved by your testimony, for as you know I too had cancer and it had spread to 1 lymph node.
    Through the radiation and chemo the Lord was with me steps ahead and always ready to catch me.
    This time gave me growth that the human language can not express.
    My focus was and is to this day that God is in control. How peaceful and grateful that makes me. His strength is stronger than we can imagine.
    I enjoy your teaching and look forward to many more

    • Cancer has a way of distilling life to the essentials. We have found that the Lord is the real essential. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

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