Today's devotion from Jeremiah 24 & 25. Sometimes the worst thing God can for you is to do what you want. I imagine for the people of Jerusalem and Judah, the idea of exile was very negative. If I place myself in their positions, I really struggle to imagine that anyone was praying for God to forcefully relocate them to Babylon. Yet, in the vision of the figs given to Jeremiah, God reveals that the future would be better for those He sent into captivity. That sounds irrational to me, but it is stated plainly in the text.
This concept is interesting considering how much of Jeremiah's ministry, along with the other prophets, is devoted to calling the people to repentance in order to avoid punishments like exile. Yet, God is essentially saying that, in order to progress His plan of redemption, He would remove the "good" from the bad while Israel is sifted.
God would be with those sent to Babylon. He would watch over and nurture them. When we read the accounts of the miraculous work of God among the exiles like Daniel. His hand was with them even though they had been so far removed from the temple and their homeland. On the other hand, when the exile is over those who return find a wasteland. The walls are destroyed and former strongholds had been torn down.
What if the very thing you are praying so hard to avoid is God's means of blessing you in the end? What if the avenue through which you must travel, while dark and turbulent, leads to the greatest good for you or others? Are you ok with God blessing you in exile? Is God's promise of remaining with you enough for you when you are called into the unknown?
As I consider this, I am convicted that I need to pray less about God changing my situation and pray more about God changing me.