Daily Devotion – Jeremiah 29:11 – One Day At A Time

Learning how to take things one day at time when anxiety hits

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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

One Day at a Time

I stumbled across a song by Christa Wells called “One Day” while I was traveling to an oncology appointment at Stanford where I was to find out whether or not I qualified for a clinical trial. I was feeling pretty anxious not knowing exactly what my future held.

As I listened to this song for the 50th time, (I kid you not; I listened to this song on repeat the whole 3 hours there and 3 hours back home), my heart kept being drawn back to taking things one day at a time.

You’re doing one day, one breath, one prayer
One thing at a time

One word, one step, one hope

In a coming light

Don’t try to swallow the ocean

Keep doing one day

‘Til one day you’re free

You see, I am not a “one day at a time” person. I am very future-oriented. I want to know what exactly is going to happen, how it will happen, how long will it take to happen and what do I need to do to make it happen. Then I play over every single possible scenario that could happen in my head and then figure out how I would tackle each problem that might come up so I can decide how to proceed.

Y’all I am an ocean swallower. None of these small steps, small sips business. I like to try, (and often fail) to take everything in all at once.

It. Is. Exhausting. It is also a cause for a lot of anxiety and fear in my life. If I can’t see the big picture and know the outcome, how can I move forward?

God Knows

God is so gracious to me and ever so patient. When I work myself up with the what-if’s and maybes, He pulls me back down to earth and tells me Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):

 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.”

God knows what my future holds so I can rest in Him. I know this with every fiber of my being.

And yet, I often think that He needs my help. That if He tells me all His plans and shows me all that He has for me, that I will be able to better guide Him along to where I want to go.

This is not trusting. This is trying to be in control and this is PRIDE.

So when I don’t know what is going to happen, when I can’t see the outcome, anxiety, pride, and doubt creep in. I feel lost. I feel out of control. I feel unloved.

I finally cry out for help.

Be At Peace

This is exactly where God wants me to be. He wants me to lean on Him. He wants me to run to Him before I try to figure everything out on my own and travel down the hole of doubting His love. He wants me to be at peace with the unknown plans and promises that He has for my life.

God has given us a beautiful promise in Jeremiah 29:11: His plans for us are good and there is hope in our future. God holds my life, our lives ever so carefully in His hands. There is no need to worry, to over plan, to try and take control: God has it all.

So, when I am feeling lost and anxious about what my future holds, I can read onto Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV):

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God promises that if we bring our fears and concerns about what troubles us to Him, He will listen to us. Isn’t that beautiful? That the God of the entire universe, and the Maker of all things, bends His ear to earth just so that He can have fellowship with us.

Even better: if we look for Him, we’ll find Him. That means we are never lost, even if we feel that way. And guys, the lie that we are lost and God doesn’t care is straight from the devil meant to keep us hopeless and pulled away from our Maker. God is always there, always listening, always ready to offer His love to us. We are never alone in this journey called life.

So when life has you feeling overwhelmed and anxiety starts to settle in, take a deep breath and remember:

You’re doing one day, one breath, one prayer
One thing at a time

One word, one step, one hope

In a coming light

Don’t try to swallow the ocean

Keep doing one day

‘Til one day you’re free

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