Vickie Conrad - Jeremiah 29:4-14. A new year is upon us! We’ve been waiting for 365 days for 2022. Already we are waiting on things like Apple iPhone 14, the Super Bowl, The Batman movie, days of the endemic, and so on. Our culture doesn’t train us to journey through an interim time very well. We are wired to expect instant gratification in daily lives. We can order just about anything and find it on our doorstep 24 hours later. We can send a message around the world almost instantaneously. In this cultural economy, a delay feels like a waste of time. A delay feels like a valid reason to doubt the love of God. No one felt more like this than the people in exile during the time of Jeremiah. The Israelites wait 70 years for deliverance. We, just like the Israelites, find ourselves in periods of interim when we are waiting on God to do something. We are waiting for things to get better. But, what do we do in the waiting?

What if instead of putting our hearts on hold until things improve, we accept the reality of the way things are and live intentionally, embrace it, and live the life God wants for us even if it's messy and not what we want. What if by embracing this messy life of waiting we are set free, transformed, and our lives are better than we ever imagined them to be? The prophet Jeremiah writes a letter to those in exile who are waiting for deliverance in a city that has taken them captive and they are miserable. The advice Jeremiah gives the Israelites might be just the advice we need at the beginning of the new year while we are waiting on the world to change.

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