Hearing about as much of my complaining as she could stand, she looked at me directly and said, “When are you going to stop playing tourist and start living here?” Her words, while truthful and direct, stung a bit as I let them seep into my heart.
Have you ever moved to a new place and had a hard time adjusting? Perhaps it was a short-term move like summer camp or college? Maybe you relocated for a deployment, a job or even retirement.
In Jeremiah 29:4-23 we read a letter from Jeremiah addressed to all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. He plainly tells them to build homes and plan to stay. In other words, stop playing tourist and start living. He instructs them to plant gardens and eat the food they produce. He encourages them to marry and have families. He instructs them to not dwindle away just because they are in a new place. These words in Jeremiah 29:7 hit close to my heart: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
God places each of us into unique circumstances. No matter your address, God wants you to live fully where you are right now.
Are you in a dorm room or apartment? That’s your home! Make a difference in your community with the people who are living in close proximity. Are you living in a bustling suburb? Invest in the community around you. Invest in the people who shop where you shop, worship where you worship and play where you play. Do you live in a rural area? God has placed you there for a purpose. Look around and find a need that you alone can fulfill. Perhaps it can be as simple as taking a neighbor a jar of flowers or making a point to get to know the cashier or librarian or car mechanic in your town.
God may have plans to do something even bigger through you—but you won’t know until you plant yourself, let your roots take hold, claim your new community and start living faithfully right where you are! The change you make in your new community may bring the same kind of beauty as a flower blooming in a garden.
Memory verse: “Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.” 1 Corinthians 7:17 NIV
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes