We have an almond tree, in the middle of our garden. It’s flowers, are white and wonderful. When the wind blows, a carpet of white petals fill the ground area like a sea of snow. During winter, the tree is empty, bare and barren but when spring comes, buds of life begin to bloom. The first flower appeared a few weeks ago. As I stood in wonder of this white flower, I felt the Lord show me the we were walking into a new season. I felt the Lord show me that the bare and barren would be filled with new life. I feel the Lord speaking this truth over all of His children.
Genesis 1 tells us this: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The word ‘create’ in Hebrew is ‘bara’ – which means, creating something out of nothing. God alone has the power to create something and everything out of nothing. He alone has all the power and authority and superiority to do this.
As my tree began to spring forth picture perfect flowers, I felt drawn to Gods creation even more. The Lord reminded me that even now, He speaks His life into places of darkness and emptiness, brokenness and barrenness. It was true when He created the earth but it is still true today as His children walk through times of difficulty are dire stresses. As The Lord speaks His life over our situations that seem hopeless, the power of His word carries His authority and we begin to see buds of hope blossom.
Jeremiah 29 reminds us of The Lords purposes, His plans and His promises in the midst of difficult times. At this point in history the Israelites had been exiled in Babylon, and Jeremiah has been commissioned to write a letter to the elders who were in captivity. His letter starts off by saying, ‘To all who were carried away captive.”
Jeremiah 29:4 – The word captive suggests being imprisoned or in slavery. I can’t help but draw a comparison to what we’re facing as a country and as a world right now. We have been enslaved, literally locked down and locked up in our homes, due to a worldwide pandemic. Yet, Jeremiah’s task was to encourage those who had been held captive.
Jeremiah 29:5 – Jeremiah encourages the people to not be diminished, weaken or slacken, dwindle or decline – instead he gives them the command to increase, multiply, broaden and enlarge. He further encourages them to seek peace and pray for the city in which they find themselves in, even in the midst of captivity.
Jeremiah 29:11 – Even though we are but dust, the Lord thinks about us. His thoughts towards us are vast. So vast that they would outnumber the grains of sand on the seashore. The Lord gives His attention to His sons and daughters, He speaks plans of hope and peace and future and purpose.
Jeremiah 29:13 – Jeremiah comforted the people with wise counsel – If we seek the Lord, and search for Him, we will find Him. When I see the word ‘search’, I imagine myself on a Landrover making my way through the Kruger National Park on a game drive, searching for the Big Five. If you’ve ever done any sort of game drive, you’ll know that you need to examine the waters and explore the terrain to find what you’re looking for. Jeremiah encourages us to ‘seek’ The Lord this way too, with all our hearts.
Can I encourage you to seek the face of the Lord today, no matter what situation you find yourself in. I believe that The Lord wants to breathe His life over His children. As we begin to look to Him, we will see the buds of hope blossoming forth out of our hearts. I encourage you to not dwindle down in despair but rather, rise up in hope and faith and love. The all-powerful God of creation breathes His life into barren spaces, and when He does, we begin to bloom, blossom and flourish. The buds of hope bring about buds of life. The buds of life bring about and begin to bear fruit – oh, the sweet fragrant fruit of The Lord!
In the midst of difficulties, God reveals Himself in the following ways;
Faithful: The Lord is faithful to send His children a word of hope in season.
Promise-Maker and Promise-Keeper: The Lord encourages His people by sending them a promise, which He later fulfills.
God of Hope: Through the word from Jeremiah, God instills a hope in His childrens heart.
Life Giving God: We see God commanding increase and not decrease even in trying times.
God of Peace: Jeremiah tells Gods people to ‘seek peace’ wherever they are.
All-powerful and All-knowing: We see this character of God highlighted in verse 14, as the Lord promises freedom to His people. Only God can do that.
Relational God: Gods desire is that we know Him, and search for Him and seek His face and He says that we will find Him. The Lord longs for relationship with His children.
What is the Lord saying to you today? What are you trusting the Lord for today?
Let’s hold on to this truth: He is the God who breathes His life into barren spaces. In the emptiness, He brings forth buds of hope and in the darkness, He speaks light into being.