One of the fascinating sequels in the Bible is the book of Jeremiah, followed by the book of Lamentations. The first book is all about Jeremiah’s pleadings, on God’s behalf, for God’s people to come back to Him. The book is full of recollections of God’s many attempts to get their attention and remind them that they had a covenant. He would be their God, provide all for them, and they would be His people, faithful to Him only. But they didn’t listen. To put it delicately, they pretty much decided to flaunt their unfaithfulness in God’s face. So then comes the book of Lamentations. All God’s warnings ignored, the desolation came. Now begins Jeremiah’s laments over how none of this would have happened, if God’s people had just been faithful.
Tucked in the first chapter of Lamentations is an interesting concept in verse nine. God’s people didn’t consider their destiny.
Think about that for a moment. They were so wrapped up in the here and now, instant gratification that they forgot about their ultimate destiny as God’s people. Remember that ultimate destiny? They were never to lord it over others. God simply chose them to be the ones to share His love with all the rest of the world. They lost sight of that destiny and became an exclusive club for snobs instead. God’s original plan was to save every single person on Earth. The people He blessed to share that good news with others – they failed, because they didn’t consider their destiny.
What is your destiny? Are you so caught up in the here and now, hand to mouth, daily grind and all of that – have you lost sight of your destiny? Is your marriage something you’re just surviving today, or does it have a destiny to be great? Can you hardly wait until the kids are of legal age and out of the house, or does your parenting have a destiny?
Life isn’t just about today. God created you for greatness. You have a destiny – don’t lose sight of that. Today’s decisions affect tomorrow. A score of tomorrows becomes your destiny. Have you considered your destiny today?
Many years ago, I convinced a friend of mine to attend a women’s retreat with me. It took huge amounts of effort, but Caroline finally consented. We had a great time and she was glad she came, but Caroline was still very shy. She enjoyed learning about God and all the worship experiences, but she mostly talked to me over the course of the weekend.
Saturday night, the main speaker, Juanita Kretschmar, presented a special program to help all of us ladies understand just how real God is in our lives. Sunday morning, during the final meeting, ladies were invited to share a special testimony from the evening. Caroline had shared hers with me and I urged her to go forward, but she was too shy.
I pleaded with Caroline and she finally went forward and shared what had happened to her Saturday night. Juanita had led us all in a special prayer where she encouraged us each to write a letter to God from our hearts. She would start the prayer and then each of us were to put the words in that fit our situations. Then Juanita spoke other words from up front, to help give ideas to those who were struggling. Caroline’s testimony was that every time a word came to her mind, to praise God for things he had done in her life or to tell Him this was a burden for her that she needed help with, she would later hear Juanita saying the same words up front. Caroline felt as if God were confirming that shy as she was, she was still important to Him.
After Caroline gave her testimony, Juanita shared another. After speaking at a religious retreat, she often feels like the devil comes after her saying things like, “You’re not good enough to encourage these other ladies to love God. You aren’t helping anyone get closer to God. You are a loser.” But when Caroline gave her testimony, Juanita was encouraged. She needed to hear that it had indeed made a difference. What if Caroline hadn’t gone forward? Shy or not, when God has worked in our lives, we must step forward and share!
Today, this is dedicated to Caroline, a truly beautiful woman. She bravely fought cancer, but lost yesterday. Through her long and difficult fight, she never failed to say God was with her. We saw miracles. God answered many prayers. She got to see her oldest daughter get married and a special ceremony to see her youngest graduate from high school. She was still shy, but she learned to tell about the good things God did for her and His faithfulness. You’ll be greatly missed Caroline.