“Jeremiah 29:11 is not a promise for you right here, right now.” Thank you for verbalizing this, Voddie Bauchum. Homeschoolers are NOTORIUS for taking scripture out of context and claiming promises that were never intended for them or for anyone from the 2nd century on. (Case in point: Proverbs 22:6 -- Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it -- is not a promise. Although it is wisdom.)
Consider that scripture not only contains Jeremiah 29:11 --
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.But it also contains Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 --
“Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.”
Either it’s a contradiction or we’re reading something wrong.
So if Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t a promise for me right here right now, where does that leave me?
- There’s something wrong with me.
- There’s something wrong with God.
- God forgot or was hindered.
- The text doesn’t mean what we think.
The answer is D. I can’t tell you how many times over the last five years I have had to reconcile all of my former church “quip” teaching with what I have experienced firsthand in a life that gropes to experience and follow God.
- “God is never late.” Huh?
- “God will always give you his best.” Homelessness is his best?
- “Everyday with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.” An irritating fantasy.
I’ve had hardship and struggle that I never imagined I would have -- and I'm not done yet. He allowed, and will continue to allow, all of it. And I have learned, much like the people Jeremiah was REALLY talking to, to embrace the struggle, put down roots and live in the midst of oppression, disappointment, fear and the complete silence of God.
So, today a room full of homeschool leaders had a lesson in hermeneutics. And I was glad to hear someone say outloud what I’ve been screaming on the inside.
Stop claiming other people’s promises and get on with seeking out the relationship that the Father wants to have with you. Your mileage may vary.