That 'last thread' moment
I saw this post on Missional Women Facebook page the other day and it made me think: "I may be hanging by a thread...but it's attached to the hem of his robe, so I am not worried." How many times do we get ourselves to that 'last thread', just barely eking by because we are stretched to the max? More than some of us might want to admit - we have bitten off way more than we can chew and now we are experiencing that 'last thread' moment. Well, the good news is that the thread is indeed attached to something bigger than the issue at hand! The Lord has us 'woven' into the hem of his garment, so we aren't going to be out there on our own.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
We all might have heard these words before, but what we might not know is the 'context' of that verse. Jeremiah is receiving a word from the Lord about the captivity of Israel. They are about to go into captivity in Babylon for seventy years and God has told them to basically 'set up camp' there. They are told to build houses, marry, have children, plant crops, and not dwindle away. Too add insult to injury, God asks the people of Israel to actually 'work for the peace and prosperity of Babylon'. Their enemy - pray for them, work for their betterment, be a blessing to them!
I don't know about you, but if I were told I was about to endure seventy years of 'servitude' to someone, I might just be less than excited about that prospect! Pray for Babylon - for if she has peace, you will dwell in peace - this is the message they receive. Then Jeremiah is told that God knows the plans he has - plans for good and not evil - for a future and a hope. Not today - but seventy plus years down the road. That is pretty much 'last thread' if you ask me. The thing I take note of in this chapter is that God has seen his people fall away from 'God first' in their lives. He will allow their captivity, but not without a plan to redeem them. God just wants them to come back to him - to know they will be cared for even in the midst of the consequences of their sins.
Isn't that just like the God we serve? We do something dumb and then we pray to get out of the consequences. When they come our way, we are dumbfounded. We hoped to just sin and confess, then get away without a scratch. The problem is that sin ALWAYS has consequences - we may think we beat them on occasion, but trust me on this one, there is always a consequence. The good news is that if we turn again to God, putting him first and trusting him to help us even in the midst of the consequences, he is right there with us. Last thread or not, he never leaves us or abandons us to our own devices. He may tell us to plant, build, and settle in - but if he does, it isn't to destroy us, but to make us strong enough for the plans HE has for us. Obedience is never easy, but sin is always bad news. Just sayin!