Posted by: kathryngraves | July 31, 2012

Captive

10 “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:10-14

It was for Israel’s good that the Lord sent them into captivity. It was an awful thing to them and it came suddenly. Verse 11 is often misused, I think, to say that God promises good times for us. What I believe this verse really promises is that God always keeps our best interests in mind. Even if that means sending us through awful circumstances. In the meantime, in the middle of terrible circumstances, 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. But only in suffering do we experience the truth of it. Suffering brings a whole new level of understanding.

And then 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 into the land of cancer. I prayed and He listened and I desperately sought Him and I found HIm. He went with me through everything. I never had the sense of being spared anything. I was certainly not spared any physical pain. And my emotional anguish was deep. But I felt the most incredible comfort in it all. Jesus held my hand all the way through. In the worst moments I cried out to him and He heard me and made me aware of His presence. During my most terrified night, the night before surgery, 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 of the Lord’s presence.

Photos/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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