“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Those were the words of God to the exiles. People who felt abandoned and displaced, by and large by no fault of their own. I believe the Lord wanted to encourage those people by promising them a future. He also had plans "not to harm you" which was something perhaps that they were unsure of because of their life experience to date. He wants to give us hope (which is given through Jesus) and a future. I see people with disabilities in this verse. It seems a word of reassurance to those who might not be entirely sure of what God is up to on the basis of their experience.

As is typical, in His kindness God knows of our wavering trust and gives us a shot of confidence and hope. How could one be more encouraging than to say, "you have a future" and "I have plans for you" and "I have plans to prosper you."

This verse has been an encouragement to me and I don't face the issues of disability, personally, that many face. I hope those who are feeling overwhelmed by their disability or the discriminatory effects of their disability will find a "hope and a future" in this passage.



Anonymous said...

Dr McNair,
I never thought of this passage in the context of individuals with disabilities before. I have thought of in the context of the nation of Israel as whole and as individuals. How comforting to think that He does have plans for disabled people, just as He does for me or you. I have a dim idea of just how dark the glass is through which I view the world. How glorious will it be on the day when our disabled brothers and sisters understand with the same perfection we so anxiously anticipate and hope for.

Impossibleape said...

This is an interesting post because it begins to offer something that may be most helpful in getting the cause of disabled people onto the agenda of churches everywhere.
We need to know what God's vision is regarding PWDs. If all we have is the hope of a miraclous healing then the disabled occupy the place that is appropriate to them now. If God has a purpose beyond this then we need to articulate what that future, that Jerimiah is talking about, may be .
Like Martin Luther King Jr.(and Joshua) we need to scout out the promised land to see what the promised land looks like and then convey the outline of that land and our future in it in language that is encouraging and inspiring. If MLKjr had only the horrors of prejudice in the church and society to relate in his speaking then the movement he led would have not been able to inspre so many and to change so many people's hearts.
As a spokesman for my children and for PWD's in general I am coming to the realization that I need to understand the future that God is calling the church to so I can invite the church forward. In my own heart I have been somewhat embittered by the rejection we have felt but I am moving towards forgiveness and I am trying to give this to God so He can speak to me of the future God wants to birth in the church.

Thanks Jeff for all the stimulating insights this blog is providing.