Serving People – Part #2: Grow Where You are Planted

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters–that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:4-7)

Jeremiah wrote to a group of Jews who had been carried away as captives to Babylon. I would imagine they were disillusioned, uncertain, and apprehensive about the reality of living in a land that did not appreciate their religious position. Jeremiah had a message for them: relax and settle down. He told them go ahead and “do life.” This included building houses, planting gardens, and raising families. The Jews had been planted in Babylon by God for a specific reason and season. Jeremiah encouraged captives to grow where God planted them. We must fight the urge to serve and do ministry somewhere else. We must fight the “greener grass” syndrome and settle into the unique situations of our lives. In His wisdom, God has allowed you to work, live, and shop in a very specific context, having considered t your talents, passions, and gifting. The place where placement and passion collide is your mission field. I am sure the Jews wanted to be back home in Jerusalem. He told them to be “all in” where God moved them. That is good advice for us today: be “all in” where you are.

Reflection Questions.

It seems at times we are rather impatient people with limited attention spans. Why do you think we look for greener grass?

We are told to grow where we are planted. In what area of your life would you like to see growth?

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