Tag Archives: Jeremiah 29.11

A Race-less Plan

IMG_9332God doesn’t need race.  God doesn’t use race to determine your future.  There is no r- a- c- e in God.  Jeremiah records the voice of the Lord and God takes all the responsibility for your hope and future.  It’s not based on our physical appearance or social approval rating.  No, God has big plans for you and I.

The prophet Jeremiah records the voice of the Lord and these words are worth repeating.  They are not aimless.  God is not fiddling around in holy pockets.  “Now what do I do with this person that I’ve created?” Scratching the head is not an option for the omniscient God.

Jeremiah has captured the voice of the Lord passionate and confident about the divine intentions of our life.  While we may not know, God is sure of the plan for our lives.  God says, “Don’t let the prophets and diviners that are among you deceive you and do not listen to the dreams they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them” (29.8-9, NRSV).

God interrupts, buts in.  “Excuse Me.  These people have the title of prophet but their gifts don’t work Me.  They may have a gift but I didn’t give it to them.  I have a plan for you.”  It is important to note that not all prophets or persons with gifts of sight have the vision of God.  Likewise, God does not need the input of race to determine your purpose in life.  Despite what stereotypes or prejudices see, they do not sit on an advisory board for God.

No, go to the Source.  Ask God because it is not just the beginning of something.  It’s not even a step- by- step process. God is not looking at you, the instructions and the extra parts wondering, “Now what do I do with these?”

God is not figuring it as you go.  God is not tweaking the outcome as you grow.  No, God has you figured out from beginning to end.  And it’s a race-less plan, fool- proof, stereotype- free. God’s got hope and a future for you that is all your own.

Just pick it up.  It’s been paid for, bought with the blood of Christ.  All you have do is pick it up, take up his cross.  Leave race behind and follow Christ.

Expectations

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

~ Jeremiah 29.11, KJV

Expectations.  We all have them.  And if by some strange miracle we don’t, then we have plenty of expectations from others. So many that we won’t ever run out of them.  So many that we can give some to others.  So many that we can and do pass them along at the bus stop, in the bathroom (at least for women) or while waiting in line at the grocery store.  So many that we pass them down as tradition and identity.

So familiar are we with expectations that we hand them out as if profitable truth when they are no more than advice.  We value them though their worth fluctuates depending upon the relationship we have with the person who holds them.  We trust them.  We believe in them.  But, this can be a dangerous thing.  Still, we will never run out of expectations.

They come from everywhere and anyone at any time.  Family and friends have them.  Enemies and strangers possess them.  Both the poor and the rich share them.

Our expectations can originate from our own hopes and desires or that of our parents, relatives, teachers or friends.  But, the expectations of others can be a weighty thing.  They can feel like a burden or even alien to us.  They can be awkward and ill- fitting, seeming to be out of place.  It is because they are not our own and though given to us, they do not belong to us.  Expectations that are not our own are often the failed plans and shattered hopes of another.  It didn’t work for them but they are convinced that it will work for you.

But, we have our own expectations which are but the means by which we propel ourselves along in order that we might further our dreams and goals.  It is a personal standard.  We expect to be here or there by this age or that time.  We expect our lives to be different, richer, fuller and better.

Expectations can serve as a marker or measure of our success.  We expected to be further along in our career, to have more money, to be married or to have children.  We expected to be treated in this fashion or to be viewed in that way.  We expected her and him to change, to love us more or better, to stop doing this or to begin doing that.

Some of our expectations come from the comparisons we make to others.  It is for this reason that they are unfair.  These kinds of expectations can become a faithless judge and a merciless jury.

But, we also expect things of cultural groups because of race, racism and stereotypes.  There are many racial expectations or stereotypes.  They tell us what we should say and how we should behave and treat others, who we can aspire to become and who we will never be.  Race doesn’t expect much of some cultural groups and too much of others.  But, we must refuse to meet these expectations because our God has some of His own.

Ten Things Your ‘Race’ Cannot Tell You

1. Race cannot tell you the purpose of your life.  The social color of your skin is not a crystal ball, a sign of good fortune or an omen of back luck.  The prophet Jeremiah records the voice of the Lord saying, “I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare, not for your disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (29.11).

2. Race cannot tell you that the social color of your skin will determine your success.  See Jeremiah 29.11

3. Race cannot tell you the future for your life. The social color of your skin is not a map and should not be asked for directions. See Jeremiah 29.11

4. Race cannot tell you that your life is hopeless. See Jeremiah 29.11

5. Race cannot tell you how you appear to God. The story of David’s selection as king revealed this wisdom: “Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart” (I Samuel 16.7).

6. Race cannot tell you that you have power or that you are powerless because “all power belongs to God” (Psalm 62.11).

7. Race cannot tell you what to do.  Race does not have to have a say in your life.  You have a choice in the matter.  “In (God), we live, move and have our being” (Acts 17.28).

8. Race cannot tell you that you are a mistake.  “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all his works” (Psalms 145:17).  “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalms 119:89).  Just because race has no place for you does not mean that you are not supposed to be here.  God creates with words. If God didn’t want you here, he would not have said your name.  That settles it.

9. Race cannot tell you that God doesn’t love you because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever should believe in him would not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16).  The world would include every continent, country, county and culture.  Don’t be fooled by race and worse still, don’t be a fool of race.

10. Race cannot tell you what God cannot do in the world and with your life.  See Jeremiah 29.11, Romans 8.28, and II Corinthians 5.16-17.