“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
As I read those words in my Bible I was once again struck that they were spoken to the Jews who had been taken into captivity in Babylon. They were probably wondering like never before if God had indeed turned His back on them and abandoned them. Living in exile sure made it look like there was indeed no hope — that they were on their own, alone.
But into that seemingly hopeless situation, God spoke to His people through the prophet Jeremiah. He hadn’t forsaken or abandoned them, He was still there with them, in the midst of the darkness. Not only that, He had plans for them, for a future and a hope!
Too often in dark times when I feel like God is silent, I forget that He is still there, always present, omnipresent. I feel abandoned, forsaken, overwhelmed and alone. I long to hear His voice but all seems silent.
But it is in that dark place that I need to look for His handprints, those reminders that He is not only here in my present reality, but at work within it. Some days it is hard to find any signs of His presence, but as I reflect I begin to see the traces: the snow-capped mountains reflecting his majesty, autumn leaves reflecting His handiwork, a timely hug from a friend expressing His compassion.
Even in your darkest moments, look around you for His handprints and thank Him for His presence and that you don’t have to do it alone.
Heavenly Father, thank You that even when I don’t feel your presence close to me, You are still at work all around me, leaving your handprints on my life. Help me to remember that, even in the quiet moments when I cannot hear Your voice. Amen.
Are you struggling with feeling far away from God? Practice looking for His presence in your daily life and thank Him for his handprints around you.
Further reading: When Prayer Seems to Fail