Peace and Prosperity
Jeremiah 29:7 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.”
I have traveled much in my lifetime, from coast to coast and around the world (to some degree). Perhaps many of you have, as well. I cannot help but think of our college students going off to new cities and new experiences this fall. Perhaps some of them are preparing to leave all that they have known to enter the workforce for the first time. Perhaps some, like my wife, Joleen, have finished “working” and are adjusting to retirement. What is retirement?
There was a time in my “deployed” life where I longed for “home.” Never did it occur to me that God might have placed me in a land far away for my own benefit. I could not fathom making my home in this far-off place, prospering with people I did not know, or the reality that this “time away” might be prosperous for me and my new home back then. It would have been nice to have been enlightened by Jeremiah’s words of wisdom.
Is it possible that the place we find ourselves deployed to today is not a geographical location, but rather a dimensional change of time? Standing in the 20th and 21st centuries, I can see how different time has been. Home for me has been a place where I found my family, my clothes, my comfortable chair, my pillow and even my bed. Time has changed everything but it is still home, somehow.
My address has changed many times over the last 25 years. My evening recliner is different, as well as my bed, pillow and even my family. The children grew up and now have their own little ones. But where I go to find solace and sleep…it is still home.
Since this blog’s theme is finding peace in the political climate of our country, it may be important to realize that God had sent the Chosen People into a radically different political landscape from what they were accustomed. Jeremiah instructed them to help build prosperity where they were planted; not only for themselves but for this new country as well. Differences of political opinions make Jeremiah’s advice to us hard to take these days.
I hear the political tension every day, just as many of you do, and we cannot help but be caught up in the rhetoric. I will always remember sitting in history class in high school (1972-ish) listening to my teacher tell us that, if President Nixon resigned or was impeached, all of us would suffer. The fall-out of a nation, good or bad, impacts us all. I cannot honestly say that I agree with what I hear and read from our political infrastructure but, if I’m honest with myself, I know in my heart that I do not want our political leadership to fail. For, if they fail, we will fail with them.
Prosperity is not just about having a few extra coins in my pocket. It’s not about meeting my needs. I want to experience peace and prosperity, and I want that for all of God’s people. God’s people include both Republican and Democratic members, American citizens, as well as the citizens of Russia, Iran, North Korea or anywhere there is tension. Finding peace with an enemy really is a good thing. Please join me in praying for world peace and prosperity, for its [the world’s] welfare will determine our welfare. Can there be peace when some are excluded from prosperity?