11For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14I will be found by you,” says the Lord.Jeremiah 29:11-14
The Israelites lived in captivity in Babylon for seventy years. It might be considered a holy time out. They were having trouble listening and obeying. So God sat them in a corner to give them time to decide if they wanted to have listening ears. All the while, he had good plans for them. He had always had good plans.
I like it that the Lord has good plans for me, his child; plans for a hopeful future, not a disastrous one. But those good plans will not come to be by just sitting on my chair thinking about it. He gives two strategies to employ to ensure that his good plans come to pass. I need to pray and I need to seek him with my whole heart. Then, and only then, will I find him.
Prayer is spiritual communion with God. The most effective prayers I pray often have no words. It is sitting with an awareness of His presence and allowing Him to say what needs to be said.
Wholehearted seeking, in my experience, is living with open hands, listening with an open heart, with a willingness to be transformed, to change. At times, it’s kind of scary. Looking into the dark corners of my heart isn’t always easy or comfortable. But I find that the Holy Spirit embodies kindness, gentleness and love.
Are you like me — excited about a hopeful future? What keeps you from experiencing it? As we say to our grandchildren: do you have your listening ears on? Are you using them? Perhaps now is the time to pray and seek Him with your whole heart.