Thursday, January 21, 2016

Do not Dwindle Away...

Photo Courtesy of coward_lion /freedigitalphotos.net

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem:  “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” Jeremiah 29: 4-7 NLT

Yes, God had freed them from slavery, but then he sent them to wander in the desert. 

Have you ever felt like God has left you to wander?  Has he ever sent you out from your comfort zone and you wondered where he had dropped you? 
Have you ever cried out:  What is the point to all of this?  You had me very used to my life and now you're asking me to change everything?
I've been feeling God moving in my life...saying, "You need to move on...you need to change...you can't stay here forever." 
We tend to get really used to "life as usual."  We even grow accustomed to our DIScomfort because it's better than the unknown. 
God clearly commanded the Israelites here in this passage of Jeremiah to quit waiting for the Promised Land.  He wanted them to set up shop and start life RIGHT where they were; the place to where he had brought them. 
I think about our move from Wisconsin to Nevada.  What if we had moved with the thought that:  We won't get comfortable here, because we'll be trying to move back to Wisconsin soon?  (Fortunately, the weather prevented us from having this attitude.) 
If we had moved with that attitude, what motivation would we have had to join a church, get into a small group, volunteer, or encourage our daughter to get attached to new friends by having lots of sleepovers and special parties so she could get to know them? 

God tells the Israelites to build homes, marry, have babies...SETTLE HERE and LIVE NOW! 

What does that translate into for us as parents of children with special needs or adults with special needs? 
Don't wait for the PERFECT time.  There will never be a PERFECT time because something will always come up...we know it does! 
In our family, what we realized is, there are hospitals, ERs, and pharmacies EVERYWHERE...so, we don't have to be at home to go there!  We've gone to the ER in Detroit, we've had to have a change of prescription at Disneyworld in Florida, and we've even pulled into an ER fresh off the highway between Minnesota and Wisconsin.  But, HEY- we saw some wonderful cities and have happy memories from our trips.  
God doesn't want us to keep waiting for tomorrow, he wants us to enjoy TODAY!  Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Jeremiah 29:5 NLT
Don't HIDE.  You see how God said, "Do not dwindle away..."?  Yes, that can mean to continue to multiply and grow in number, but it also means, "Don't disappear and shrink into non-existence."  There are people in the world who NEED you and there are people out there that YOU need.   I've even found that it means getting involved LOCALLY...not just on the internet.   
You know how easy it is to get super-connected to a group on-line?  It's easier than trying to schedule in-person meet-ups, that's for sure.  But, since we moved to Nevada, we have found an amazing group of face-to-face support which has brought so much joy to our lives, it's remarkable.  If you're having trouble connecting, maybe try one of Snappin' Ministries Side-by-Side groups which offer both in person and on-line opportunities to support one another.  Do not dwindle away!  Jeremiah 29:6b NLT
Don't deny your ability to serve.  You are as much a blessing to others as they are to you.  Look around locally and see where you could fit in.  Statistics have always shown that volunteering raises a person level of happiness.  Whether it's answering phones at a crisis center, doing highway cleanup, or delivering meals to shut-ins; try to find a way to serve that encourages you and brings you joy. 
Pray for God to show you the needs of your city, and where his will would place you.  And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”  Jeremiah 29:7 NLT
So, if you feel that God has been stirring in your heart, listen to his words in Jeremiah...Do it!  Stop waiting for the Promised Land.  We are not here on Earth to sit in the waiting room of Heaven.  We are here to serve, just as Jesus served while he was here on Earth.  Live for today and do not dwindle away.

Pray:  Heavenly Father, sometimes it's so hard to step out of our comfort zone and it's so much easier to wait for tomorrow.  Help me to hear your will so clearly that I can't deny what you want me to do.  Guide me in your path so I may fulfill your purpose for me here on Earth.  Thank you, Lord, for the blessings and support that you have provided me...show me how to bless and support others.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

2 comments:

  1. Tammy, So cool that today and yesterdays posts both talked about settling down but in different ways. I guess God is trying to get our attention:)

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    1. Definitely. Deb! And I'm listening now!!!

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