April 16, 2013

His Banner Over Me is Love

A couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, our son had a soccer game just outside of Washington, DC.  It was the perfect day for a game... cool, breezy temps and plenty of bright, warm sunshine.

When the game was over, we met my brother-in-law, his girlfriend and our nephews for dinner in the District.  After a fun evening of catching up and enjoying great food and time together, we began to make our way back home.

photo credit: trolleytours.com

As we navigated through the city streets taking in beautiful nighttime views of The White House, The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial and other must-see sights, we came upon a building with an enormous banner hanging on it and written on the banner in big, bold, black letters were these words...

"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 a future and a hope." 
 ~Jeremiah 29:11

I could hardly believe my eyes.  As we came to a stop at the light beside the building, I looked out my window and up at the banner and tried to wrap my mind around it.  It was so out of place in the middle of a city that doesn't necessarily fear and honor God, yet it was exactly in the right place... right where we would see it as we drove past.  I love how God shows up in the most unexpected places and makes his presence and love for us known.

God etched this verse on my heart many years ago and its words have been a continual guide to me as I've walked with him.  They are words of promise and hope... words that call me to rest in the midst of chaos and to continue to trust when our path feels shaky and uncertain.  They speak of life and goodness, prosperity and safety, and they remind me that I don't have to write my own story and make and secure our plans for the future.  That's entirely up to God.  He is in control and he knows the plans he has for me.

I'm really not quite sure what he's up to these days... what plans he's crafting and how our path will continue to unfold.  But I do know his words to me are true and I know he can be trusted.  I sense his favor, his smile on our lives, and sometimes I even sense a slight, sneaky grin that seems to say, "Just wait and see what I have in store for you!"

His banner over me is love...

Literally.

"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 and show you great and mighty things you have not known.  You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart."
~Jeremiah 29:11-13

"He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love."
~Song of Solomon 2:4


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