SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
FOR THE GRADUATE
(Dedicated to my daughter Kelsey on her high-school graduation).
(Jer 29:11) For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (TLB)
Ahhh. You are graduating! Doesn't it feel great? You've worked so hard for this day and now it's here! Think about how much you've learned, the things you have experienced, and the people you have met. You've grown, you've changed, and you've matured. And now it's time for the grad line! Your name is going to be called. You'll get a diploma and a hand shake. You'll sit back down and wait for the others. You'll change your tassel (is it right to left, or left to right? I forget!) Then it will be all over. You'll say goodbye to your friends and then you'll probably have a party in your honor with your family (or maybe an outing with your friends so the good-bye won't be so hard!) Then it will likely hit you. I've graduated! I can't believe it!! Time to move on. What will the future hold?
Israel didn't know much about their future. They had been taken captive to Babylon for their idolatry for seventy years. They were in a foreign land thinking of home and how cool it would be to back there again. They were in such despair over their future that they lost hope. They started to think that maybe God forgot about them. They had nothing to look forward to. Nothing to get excited about. What lay ahead of them was gray prospects, like a bad weather forecast...the same as yesterday. In the midst of this despair came the voice of God through the prophet Jeremiah. God was for them...not against them! He loved them. He had plans for them. These plans were for good and not for evil. God wanted to assure them that they had a future and hope.
Just like Israel, God has plans for you too! Isn't that great news? You don't have to worry about what will be because God already sees it and says it's great! (Isa 46:10) Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure. You can trust your future to God because you are His child and He has a course for you to take. He figured it out before you were even born! (Eph 2:10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. All you have to do is seek the Lord and let Him unfold His plan. (Mat 6:33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. If you make a mistake don't worry about it. God knows how to get you back on course! (Isa 30:21) Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.
I remember when I was graduating everyone was asking each other what they were going to do. Some had a course of action and some didn't. But everybody was hoping for the best and for a good life altogether. But the believer can be an achiever because the Bible says God will work things out even when things look fuzzy in the distance. (Isa 42:16) I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.
So, are you excited about your future? That's great because God is too! (Jer 33:3) ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Congratulations, graduate!!