There’s this kid, Janner, and I see the man he’s going to become, but he has to journey to get there. He has to go through all sorts of hard things and hard places in order to become the man he’s meant to be.
Several years ago we heard Andrew Peterson in concert in Cortland, NY. What I remember most clearly about the concert was him talking about his books, collectively called the Wingfeather Saga. (Book One: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book Two: North or Be Eaten!, Book Three: The Monster in the Hollows, and, now in progress, Book Four: The Warden and the Wolf King.)
I’ve gone back to what AP that night said over and over. It’s parenting advice. We can so easily focus on the person we see today, and fail to miss the long-range view that God takes of each one of us.
I’ve been reading through Jeremiah. One of the most oft-quoted verses from the book is Jeremiah 29:11. “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.” It’s a popular graduation time verse.
Oh, yes, God has great plans for us — for welfare, for a future, for hope.
Read in context, however, Jeremiah was speaking to a people in the midst of being taken into captivity by Babylon. It doesn’t sound like a great future. Lying prophets were saying things like, “I will break the yoke of Babylon within two years.” (see Jer. 28:11) I’m sure Judah was nodding a collective head in agreement. Yeah! That’s the God I’m talking about! Two years and we’re golden.
Except that wasn’t the truth. God needed to bring Judah through a hard place, 70 years of captivity, because He saw the people He wanted them to become.
Sometimes the here-and-now is hard. But God does have a plan for us. He is shaping us, through hard time and difficulties, sometimes through 70 years of captivity, to make us who He wants us to be.
Thanks be to God.
For more information on the Wingfeather Saga, check out Andrew Peterson’s Kickstarter campaign for the final book. It’s not too late to get in on the action.