This summer, we began the great rite of passage that is campus tours. Our daughter took her very first tour in June. A lovely admissions officer named Katie introduced us to the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an equally lovely (though slightly confused) young woman named Dani showed us around. My daughter’s 15-year-old ego was suitably unimpressed.
“What did you think?”
“It was fine.”
All righty then.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
The Lord does indeed have plans for our daughter, be they in Boulder or elsewhere. They are plans to prosper her in the gifts He has given her and protect her from the worst of harms she may do to herself by turning away from Him. He purposes to give her hope and a future.
Yet, my inner biblical scholar reminds me that this verse from the prophet Jeremiah was not written primarily to individuals, however academically talented they may or may not be. These verses were written to a people–God’s people–that all could have hope and a future.
So, I realize that what I was witnessing on that campus tour, with some quiet awe, was the first unfolding of plans the Lord has for my daughter, but not only for her. Whatever it is He calls her to do–granted she responds in faith–will prosper God’s people through her. Whatever He calls her to do will bring hope to some small part of a world sorely in need of it.
The news was on the radio as we drove back and forth to campus. Our nation is knee deep in a presidential election predicated on fear and loathing. Britain had just voted to leave the European Union, seemingly in evidence of the same kind of fear and loathing plaguing us. In our own little town, a police officer had been convicted of murder, a school district was in turmoil, and a young man whom I taught at our local junior college was being laid to rest.
It was more than the day’s share of bad news, and, yet, in the midst of it, was the bright hope of my daughter’s future. She is living, laughing testimony of God’s faithfulness in continuing to call our children to march fearlessly into His tomorrow.
“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. For me. For us. And I caught a glimpse of them.