“Build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat its produce…But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:4-7
Have you or your family ever found yourselves in a place you didn’t want to be? Maybe you were stuck in a strange city because you missed a connecting flight. In an emotional sense, maybe you’ve been in the same place for what seems like forever with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe your family is just going through a hard time. If you can relate, realize you’re not alone and that God has not forgotten you.
Though the Bible talks about a city, we can easily substitute “city” for “family.” And cities require maintenance. If you’re like me you sometimes struggle to keep the peace in the house whether it’s the kids yelling and screaming, or you and your spouse are not seeing eye to eye. Then there are situations that come up that cause chaos and raise the tension level like the car breaking down or the refrigerator going kaput. Colds, flu, or allergies seem to be a near-constant problem. It’s always something, isn’t it? It’s probably not where you want your city to be and that’s when it’s time to pray on its behalf and put it all in the Father’s hands.
What do we do while we wait for God to answer us? Jeremiah tells us to build our houses and plant our gardens. In other words, we need to continue taking care of our family and getting the things done that daily need to be done. It does no good to sit and worry. Instead, we ought to get the kids to school, go to work, cut the grass, wash the car, clean the house, and do the shopping just as we always do. God never forgets us and He’s always with us. He will do what only He can do. We just need to trust Him to do it and wait patiently just as we are told in Psalm 37:7 which says,
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Jeremiah tells us to seek our “city’s” welfare because as we do we will also personally benefit. Who wouldn’t want a peaceful house? Who wouldn’t want their family’s joy restored? Everyone benefits when we put God first and allow His peace that passes all understanding to cover us.
What does your city need right now? Remember that wherever you are or what you’re going through, you and your family are right where God wants you to be. He put you there for a reason. He seeks to prosper you and mature you as you spiritually grow in Him because of the situations that are occurring in your city. We find God’s promise for this just a few verses later in Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.”
As we seek our city’s welfare, we are told to pray to the Lord about it. In the battle against the forces that attack our families and in our own tackling of our everyday situations, let’s pray. Let’s pray without ceasing. Let’s pray for our city’s protection, for its growth, and for its goodness. Let’s pray for peace, wisdom, kindness, patience, and love. Let’s plant our gardens and love every dirty minute of it.
It’s our own little city on a hill. Under the Lord’s protection, we will get our families through the difficult times and be drawn together in Christ’s love. Our houses will be strong and our produce plentiful, and our welfare will be blessed.
Does your family need prayer? Are you in need of someone agreeing with you before the Lord as you pray over your family? Let me know here so I can pray with you.