Bonfires and Bluejeans

Randoms from my spot next to the fire

Calling out the fluff

on September 15, 2013

Have you ever heard a verse in the bible that you thought meant one thing, but suddenly realized there was a whole lot more to the story? I know I can’t be the only one!

Apparently I’ve been reading this particular verse to mean one thing for so long…it’s a popular verse and a wonderful way to remind yourself that you are here for a reason and that you will never be left alone. But. Turns out I’ve not read the few verses that precede the happy verse. And y’all it makes a bit of a difference.

Here is the passage that so many people know and love-it’s one of my most favorites. I tell my kiddos this and remind myself of this promise when things just aren’t looking pretty. Jeremiah 29:11 is a staple in many homes: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” That, in and of itself, is perfect. But from what I’ve learned, there’s more to it.

This may be pretty elementary to y’all, but this is turning out to be life changing for me. After reading what I have, I think that verse 11 has to be one of the most misunderstood/misquoted verses in the bible. It sounds good when someone needs comfort…God has plans for the perfect job, financial freedom, peace in times of stress…and He does. It’s true. The bible is full of versus that back this up. But Jeremiah 29:11 just sounds so pretty on the front of a Hallmark card, huh?

The important part of the story? The proceeding verses. And they say a lot. Turns out, there was a prophet that was going around to the captive people saying “Hey y’all…God said He’s gonna rebuild Jerusalem in just two years and not the 70 that He originally told ya!” Well Jeremiah knew that wasn’t gonna happen cause it was totally wrecked…and God said it would be 70 years…so he set about writing a letter to tell the captives that they don’t need to listen to the fellas who sound too good to be true. Because they were all out for their own personal gain.
Probably why those in captivity were so quick to latch on to these guys talking early release and fluffy promises. Truth is, I’ve latched on to this verse as an “early release” to some of my trials that I knew had not yet ran their course. Then had the nerve to question God when I had not been delivered from them on my own schedule. Hmmm. Sound familiar? There are so many out there making our relationship with Jesus “fluffy” with easy answers and “just do this for that” mentality. ‘Fraid it’s too good to be true. Nowhere in the bible does it say it will be easy. Everywhere it says to be wary of those who tell you otherwise. But I digress.

Don’t get me wrong. The promise of this verse is very applicable to our lives; we just misuse it to make God out to be our prayer vending machine. When we need an answer, we ask God with the expectation He will give us the future WE want when WE want it. Ain’t so, y’all. So here is the verse in context. See what you think about it: 10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

The part that really stands out to me is the phrase “and not a day before”. This ain’t a Santa Clause kind of religion y’all. God did promise to show up and take care of us…but on His schedule. Not ours. Big difference.

What do you think? Have you encountered anyone telling you “fluffy” stuff that sounds too good to be true? I know I have! How have you handled it?

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