“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage.” Jeremiah 29:5-6a
Listen: Jeremiah 29
The Israelites wanted to go home. They wanted to get out of their unwanted space. As the prophet Jeremiah prepares to tell them what God has to say, maybe they were thinking, “Alright! God’s coming to our rescue. He’s going to get us out of here and lead us back home. We’ll soon be free!” But that’s not what God does. He not only tells them they’ll be in Babylon 70 years, he also tells them to build…settle down…plant gardens…have families. He instructs them to put down roots. He tells them to embrace this unwanted space.
Embracing unwanted space is difficult. It means accepting as permanent something that we hope will be very temporary. Maybe this includes living with your parents, a less-fulfilling job, being “stuck” in your city/community or the lack of a serious relationship. Refusing to embrace this space might mean that you’ll miss out on God’s plan for your well-being. You’ll miss out on some important things he wants to teach you—things you can only learn when you say, “Yes, I can live here.”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As we begin 2019, it is possible you are in unwanted space right now. If you are, and especially if you’re frustrated and anxious, pray a prayer with open hands like this, “Father, I don’t want to be in this space. I don’t like it, and I want out. May your Spirit show me how I can truly live in this space. Open my mind and heart to what you want me to learn. In Jesus’ name, and for your glory. Amen.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.