Wednesday, December 9

Hope and a Future??

"This is what the LORD says: 'When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD" Jeremiah 29:10-14

If we took a survey, I think we'd find that Jeremiah 29:11 is probably ranks as one of the most favorite Bible verses. (It's not one of my favorites even though it is a nice verse.) This verse was written about the Israelites prior to their captivity. God told Jeremiah, someone that God to speak His words, that because of the Israelites actions, He was going to send them into captivity for 70 years. At the end of the 70 years, God would bring them back to their land to accomplish the plan that He had for them; to give them the future that He had already designed for them.

I don't mean to compare myself to the Israelites in any way or to allude that I am currently in captivity but I got to thinking of the phrase, "plans to give you hope and a future" and what phrase alone means to me.

I am currently a missionary candidate with my church's denomination. Basically, I had an interview back in 2004 and they said that they approve me to be "in training" or "in process" to be a missionary. My denomination has a list of requirements that they want their missionaries to complete prior to going overseas. The list is long and typically takes 10 years for the average person to get from point A to point B; a time frame that is much longer than the average missions agency. The reason behind these expectations is that my denomination pays their missionaries instead of the missionaries raising their own support...a huge blessing. Plus they have found that the turnover rate is significantly lower with our missionaries. And lastly, they want to send out individuals who will get the job done and be successful.

In today's economy, my denomination is needing to cut back just like many other organizations. They had to lay off thirty missionary families, cut back the budgets, and will be sending out less missionaries in the next few years. I love this denomination and have desired to serve within it for years now but due to the cut-backs along with some dialogues between me and the main office, I'm starting to wonder if there is a future for me with them. Ugh! If that is the case, I'm not sure where it leaves me just yet. At any rate, I've started looking for paid missions positions overseas with other organizations, just to see what is out there.

My future is uncertain. Uncertain only because God hasn't shown me what is next, either in job or location. However, despite all this, God has planted hope in me. It is bedded in my soul and continues to grow, pushing out the seedlings of worry, fear, or frustration. Moreover, I know God has given me a future. I don't know what it looks like but God has it all planned out. I'm going to leave it in His hands, since they are far more capable than mine.

1 comment:

My name is Cait said...

Oh that is disappointing. Waiting is such a drag. I'm glad you can see God in it!