A New Hope — Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 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.
The ever popular Star Wars franchise introduced itself to the world at Chapter 4- “Star Wars – A New Hope”. Although the three main characters came from very different walks of life, they were all in the same mental space. A space of knowing that their present situation in life wasn’t fulfilling or sustainable. Luke, Leah and Han were living on the fringes of society in the realm of soon but not yet. Moreover in the case of Leah and Luke the societal tag of rebel did not fit the supernatural gifts they were born with.
As for us, we were created in the likeness and image of God; which is good. In the Genesis creation narrative, everything that God created was good. This includes humanity. We are created in goodness with the power to create and make an impact. Remember that immediately after being created Adam was charged with naming all of the animals.
In this new year we must resist the popular sentiment of making plans and remember that God has plans for us. Do we know what God’s plan for our lives are? In his book Let Your Life Speak author Parker Palmer suggests that we are already born with our life’s purpose ingrained in us. Unfortunately formal education and life’s circumstances tend to push us away from purpose towards compensation.
So we encourage you in this new year to search yourself. Search your soul and your heart. Listen for the voice of God and consider the following:
If I could change one thing in the world I would:
If I could change one thing in my country I would:
If I could change one thing in my community I would:
If I could change one thing in my church I would:
If I could change one thing in my workplace I would:
If I could change one thing in my family I would:
If I could change one thing about me I would:
Note the previous phrases do not end with “it would be”. Unfortunately Say Amen family change doesn’t happen with talk. It happens with work.
Like the Israelites Jeremiah was writing too and the main characters in Star Wars, many of us are living in spaces of intense struggle and unfulfillment. Yet we can not lose hope because God has plans for us. Indeed we all have a purpose to fulfill. Let us not dismiss our dreams. They we’re given to us for a reason. God sees us. God knows where we’ve been. God knows where we are. Yet most importantly, God knows just how much we can do and how far we can go.