I felt led to read the entire chapter of Jeremiah 29 after receiving an email from a girlfriend of mine from back home in Kentucky. I'm going through something right now that has made me feel trapped and I asked God straight up...what are you going to do about it? "I've done all that I can do...I'm standing...so what now?" And I was clear about not wanting a "head" answer...but a "spirit" answer. Sometimes my mind gets going and I confuse that with what God is trying to say. So I felt like the Lord was saying that the only "spirit" answers that I was going to get was in his "word" and so in trying to figure out what to read...I thought about her email.
What's interesting is that the Israelites were captives in Babylon during this time; very similar to the "captivity" that I'm feeling right now. But God sends a word saying that "in the midst of your captivity...live your life." I feel strongly that He is saying to not function in a state of "slave" thinking...even if you are being held captive to a circumstance or situation. He tells them to build homes, plant gardens, and get married, and have children...My NLT Bible says "Don't dwindle away." He says "plan to stay." Almost like, "praise him anyhow." "live and enjoy your life, anyhow." Which is a strong word for me... Captivity, whether its financial, emotional, etc...can have a tendency trigger old behaviors...for me it's fear or depression..for you it might be something else. That's if you allow yourself to become consumed by the circumstance or as he also says...believing the false prophets in your life...the people who claim to hear from God...for you...but nothing they are saying has been confirmed by God through your spirit.
The beauty of all of this...is that the Lord says that Israel would be captive for 70 years and then he will "come for them" and set them free and give them all the good things that they promised. He has plans for them...which includes hope, future, prosperity...Now we all know that God is a God of seasons. What I gather...is that it is not about the number of years...70... but the specific nature. ONLY 70 years. In other words, I won't stay in captivity a minute longer than God has stated. This is a season with a specific amount of time and when it is over...the promises of God will be revealed. point blank. no doubt about it.
It's interesting because in this passage...he gives us direction on what to do in the midst of captivity and the hope and promise of what he has for us when its over. That is such a blessing for me right now. And gives me the ability to "keep going" and "keep living" in spite of the circumstance.