I have the Bible Gateway ap on my phone. It comes in handy when I want to look up a quick verse about what God says and I do not have my Bible with me. Today’s verse is one of my favorites, but one that can be perplexing to me as well:
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. Jeremiah 29:11
Standing alone, this verse perplexed me. I love this promise, but as Shelby fell ill again this fall, I had a hard time believing that God was there to prosper me, or to keep Shelby from harm, or that the plans that were shaping up around me were of God at all. But they were.
Shelby fell ill on October 13, and was hospitalized 4 times from October 15 and the end of December. Through these visits, we still had no answers as to why she was so ill with stomach pain. Stomach pain led to medicines and treatments and then the inability to walk correctly – then the inability to walk at all at times. What was going on with my child? Why is God not providing the right answers for Shelby? Where is the keep from harm business that God so beautiful put into one of my favorite verses?
Several were praying for Shelby. I so wanted to see a clear answer to prayer and be able to say “See what God did!” But, in all of my asking others to pray and praying for God to fix the situation, I was wrong.
The following two verses follow Jeremiah 29:11: Then you will call on 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. (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
I was not seeking God with all my heart. I was seeking a solution. I wanted a fix. A quick one at that – I mean, who wouldn’t with a child ill as Shelby was all fall?
The biggest turn came for me when the pastor and elders of the church came to pray over Shelby, anointing her with oils. In this prayer time, I was reminded that Shelby belonged to God. I am her mom, but God loves her and cares for her more than I ever can. He did have a plan for her – and He is allowing this path to happen. God wanted me, wants all of us, to seek Him with our whole heart. Not seek a solution to a problem, but seek Him.