Selected text from my scripture reading from the past two days…
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings”, says the Lord. “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them(emphasis mine) and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking”, says the Lord. Jeremiah 23: 1-4
“…so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah [or in other words, from your home], whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans [essentially…another place they would rather not go]. For I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:5-7
These passages are significant to me because more recently I have been battling bitterness with regards to a situation where my family felt discarded; marginalized; tossed aside. We have had our own instances of leaving ‘Judah’ for the ‘land of the Chaldeans’, and the transitions have been difficult. So in the latest struggle with bitterness, as there does seem to be an ebb and flow to it (thankfully they are growing farther apart), God led me through the above passages. The words that were most impactful to me, not that I didn’t know them before but I was again reminded of it, were the ones I bolded within the passages …”where I [God] have driven them [us]”; “I have sent out of this place for their own good” and “I will set My eyes on them for good”. God has allowed the circumstances that we are in and His eyes will not leave us and this is for our good!
Thank You Father for loving us so much that You would allow us to endure the pain we feel, knowing that the refining we are experiencing will be for our good. Glory be Yours! Amen.