Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jeremiah 1:10 -- On Moving Beyond Destruction

"See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."
Jeremiah 1:10

God is talking to Jeremiah here about what his calling or his mission is.  I think it is interesting that a lot of it is about denunciation and destruction, but then at the end it also says "to build, and to plant."  The idea that I get from this is that God is never about destruction for its own sake.  Although part of it, of course, could be about restoring justice, I think mainly the reason that God destroys is so that he can build and plant.  It reminds me of the parable of the olive trees and how the Lord of the vineyard had to clear ground and prune sometimes, but always to make the whole better.
I think this is true on an individual level as well.  Sometimes our aspirations or our hopes are destroyed.  And even when it is a little bit about justice where we've done something wrong that needed to be righted... even then, it is *also* about building and planting.  God asks us to come before him with a broken heart.  And that heart, and the contrite spirit that go with it... those parts of ourselves aren't broken because God likes to see us humiliated and suffering.  Sometimes we need to be broken, or pruned, or refined, so that we can be healed and built and become brighter and stronger and better.  Cutting out the disease isn't ever going to be the fun part, but being cured is worth it.  And that is God's goal... his purpose.  To heal us and perfect us.  To help us to grow into who we can be.  And if we listen to him, and work with him, then our potential is infinite.
Today, let's remember that God is about building and planting.  When we feel like we're being destroyed instead, let's look around for the seeds of what else God has in store for us.  It won't always be what we are looking for at the moment, but it will always be better than we could have dreamed for ourselves.  In the end, we will go farther following God than we ever will by ourselves.  Let's partner with him and become what he knows we can be.

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