This is the beautiful city of Lynchburg, Virginia. We visited this area in April of 2018 and were blessed to see this unbelievable sight!
I got to thinking about cities. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are large and spread out. Others are medium sized. Still others are small, where everyone knows each other’s names. Then there’s the tiny little village or community, the one that if you blink, you’ll miss it.
We all live in a city, town or community or close to one. What does God think about your city?
“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.” Jeremiah 29:7.
God cares about it. He wants you to pray for it. Can you believe He even sent you to your city or community? Even if it’s the last place you want to be.
I would venture to say that most people I’ve met would rather be “anywhere but here.” Including me at certain times in my life. But God thinks quite differently about where you live.
In this verse, God has instructed Jeremiah to tell the people to “bloom where they’re planted.” Who is Jeremiah speaking to here? His listeners are exiles, Jewish people longing for their homeland, yet living in Babylon. How did they come here? According to this verse, God carried them here, using King Nebuchadnezzar to do it.
Wherever you are, it’s pretty likely you weren’t carried there as an exile, even though it may feel like it. Yet God instructed them to invest in where He had wisely and sovereignly placed them. He wants us to do that too. Work for our city’s peace, strive for its prosperity, pray to the Lord for it. Because if it prospers, we prosper.
What conviction I feel when I read these words. How many times have I longed to be free from the shackles of where I might have lived at any given time over the years? But if I am serious about obedience to the Lord, that attitude is not acceptable. Instead of dreaming about how the grass is greener somewhere else, it’s God’s will and my duty to pray for my community and work for its good. That’s true prosperity.