Have you ever felt that what you are doing is not what you are meant to do? Or you are unsure of your future? Feeling lost and maybe unloved?
Well, I certainly have felt this way before. The constant push-pull of the world. Trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. ALWAYS being busy. Trying to prioritize, but it seems that work takes up all your time. Trying to make plans with friends, but no one’s schedules line up. Loving your job, but also wanting something different. Wanting to put down roots, but also wanting to explore. Having your family and friends ask questions like, “When are you getting married?” or “When are you having kids?”. Believe me, I have experienced all of the above! It is not easy nor is it pleasant.
The two readings on Sunday, January 31 hit me hard. The first reading from Jeremiah has this well known verse in it: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) What a powerful verse. Many, many years before you were born, God knew you, He knew everything about you. What your name was going to be, when you were going to be born, your parents, your friends, the good, the bad, your job–HE knew it all!!! God knows you intimately. He knows your heart inside and out. He has plans for you. As we hear later in 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.” God has known the plans for your life long before you were ever born. To me, that is amazing, and comforting (and a little scary!). However, if God revealed all He had in store for us, I am pretty sure it would be overwhelming and take away the element of surprise, wonder and awe of how incredible God truly is!!
The second reading on Sunday, January 31 was certainly a classic– 1 Corinthians chapter 13!
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.” (1 Cor 13:4-8)
I love how beautifully these two readings go together. Sometimes, I do not see a connection between the first and second readings, but this Sunday, it was very obvious. Not only does God know you and has plans for you: HE loves you! His love never fails. It never waivers. It does not matter how much we sin or hurt our relationship with God. Through His grace and mercy–WE are loved by God unconditionally. I take comfort in these 2 readings. Through all the push-pull, the questions, the uncertainty— My faith gives me hope that through God I will be more than loved and more than taken care of. I will be given an amazing and blessed life that goes beyond my wildest dreams and desires. With God’s unwavering love, you will live a life of many blessings. If you ever doubt that, which we all do at some point, just go back to these two passages and meditate on their meaning. We are all loved by God.
Just thought we all needed this reminder! 🙂
-Maggie O’Neill is a regular contributor to our blog. She staffs in the CHARIS young adult retreats for our Young Adult Ministry and Awakening retreats for college students across the country.