Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:4-7 (NIV)
God asked Jeremiah what he saw and Jeremiah told him a basket of good, delicious figs and a basket of rotten, bad figs (v 3). And then God went on to explain that the good figs were his people who had been exiled to a foreign country. What struck me in this text is that God’s people, the people he saw as “His”, were exiled. They had gone through the trauma of being yanked from their home and exported to a foreign land. They were banished. So often we look at our difficult circumstances and assume God is not in it because they are, well….messy. God said that he will take his people, where they were, in the middle of their mess, and grow them stronger. Most importantly, he will give their hearts a reason to live. He will teach them about who he is in the deep part of their souls. Is God in the middle of your mess? Are you learning to see him with your heart and not your head? It’s in your heart that you will truly find him.