Do you ever have those moments (or days) when you can’t see the point to your life? Or do you perhaps look at the world and all its mess and wonder what God is doing? Is there really a plan?
High school students (and others) have been choosing Jeremiah 29:11 as an inspiration for a very long time. God told the prophet, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” But in spite of the encouraging words there are many periods in our life when it’s pretty hard to see God’s plan. Jeremiah could not see anything good from God’s work in his life for year after year. He has been called “the weeping prophet” because he lamented all the pain that he saw.
I have heard many people say just that in hospital rooms and nursing homes. “I can’t see how God can bring anything good out of this.” “God is supposed to have a plan, but I sure don’t see how this could fit into any plan for anything good.” “I don’t know what God is planning, but he’d better get busy with it soon.”
We look at the world and we see random acts of wickedness, murder, and destruction. We see good people go through terrible loss and pain. We see little children suffer. We see the elderly linger long past when they wished they could go to heaven. We see evil people appear to prosper. Is there REALLY a plan in all this?
Take a few minutes to watch this video…
This demonstration takes about 3 minutes. During that time there are only a couple of times that the swinging balls appear to have any pattern or meaning. Much of the time they seem random and chaotic. The music they make as they strike the chimes is discordant and unlovely. And then, suddenly, they all seem to line up! For a few moments they appear to be coordinated and moving in a purposeful or meaningful way! And then, just as quickly, they fall back into apparent randomness and meaninglessness.
Your life may appear the same way at any given moment. Seen over the short span of your day or your week, your life’s challenges may not seem to fit any meaningful pattern. What is God DOING?! And yet, every now and then, we stand in the right place at the right time and God gives us a glimpse, just a glimpse, of the purpose and meaning of our life.
The swinging balls in the video are not random. They were carefully set up to do what they do by a creator who hung each one on a precisely measured cord so that they swing in a prescribed arc. Your life too was arranged by a careful Creator. How can you think otherwise when you see the wonder of your body and your world and how they work, and when you witness how carefully your Creator arranged all of history in order to send His Son for your redemption?
Today, perhaps, you see only random movement. But keep watching. Your Creator will reveal to you, as He did to Jeremiah, that He has a plan for you. A plan for good, and not for evil. A plan for a future and for hope!