This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Jeremiah 29:4
Listen: Jeremiah 29
The nation of Israel was in unwanted space. Their continued disobedience and idolatry had resulted in God allowing Babylon to take them captive. They were now more than 900 miles away from their homeland. Nothing was the same, and nothing was familiar. King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them to a foreign culture with foreign gods. It was uncomfortable space for which they hadn’t planned. God brought them to unwanted space.
A review of 2018 will probably show the same thing for us—unwanted spaces. A look back will show a diagnosis we didn’t expect. A relationship ending unexpectedly. An unforeseen move. Or a difficult job change. In each of these situations it’s easy to ask, “God, why did you bring me here? Is this really part of your plan?” As we ask and look for any way out of this unwanted space, we can miss what God has for us during these times. We can miss what God desires to do in and through us when we’re in unwanted space.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
After slowly reading this story in Jeremiah, take your journal and reflect deeply on 2018. Identify an “unwanted space” or two to which God brought you. Take some time and write down what you learned about God or what God taught you in that space. This list may include things like his goodness, his faithfulness, a new level of compassion or a renewed ability to trust him. Conclude your Chair Time with a prayer, thanking him for everything on your list.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.