“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)
After a recent day that was as horrendous in finishing as it was in the starting, I was given later cause to reflect. My specific problem had been a lack of faith in the future vision of where my life was going, vocationally. I was feeling particularly helpless.
And as I prayed I was given a vision—a very cogent vision.
I imagined myself 20 years from now, and, looking back from there, I was advising myself to not give up—that enduring the sense of present setbacks would be worth it. From this vantage point, however nebulous it was, I could see hope—the fruition of a life purpose.
Then I got to thinking how important it is that we are all being our own best advocate for that future version of ourselves.
If we have any reason to grow—to become better disciples of Christ—we have our own reasons. Why would we not grow when it is for our later benefit? Why would we not push ourselves to grow when it could be for others’ later benefit, too?
Having Faith in Future Visions
If you are in a middle-ground land, in a vast ocean between distant islands, perhaps even floating downstream seemingly without a paddle, you will need a firm grasp on a future vision; something to hope for; a purpose to strive for.
Even more so is this a pressing reminder when we find ourselves in a helpless position. We easily get lost in a sort of learned helplessness. We easily lose faith.
When we are battling to make sense of the meaning in the present ‘wasted day’, we ought to remind ourselves that God is using this time, as much, if not more, than the seemingly fruitful time—God is using the time, by stealth. This time when we battle for purpose is a time of preparation. God is making good on his promise, yet we can hardly see, because we can never see what we hope for—if we could it wouldn’t be hope.
Having faith that we are on the way to the fulfilment of our purpose is crucial.
We can remind ourselves of the visions that God has sown into our hearts. And if a vision has not yet been received, we pray for it. The Lord has a plan for each of our lives; a plan to prosper us, and to make good on our lives for service in Christ.
We have every reason to have faith that God is doing something good in our lives, even through difficult present times. We can easily imagine a future version of ourselves urging us on to endure through this present arduous season.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.