Yesterday my wife and I trekked off to the dentist office where our daughter works. I hadn’t been to a dentist since 2010 and to be honest I can’t even remember the last time Piper went! She hasn’t been able to brush her own teeth for quite a while now so I’ve been attempting to do it for her. A month or so ago I noticed that the various medications that she’s been taking and tends to let sit in her mouth for extended periods of time before swallowing along with the lack of consistent brushing was beginning to take a toll on her teeth.
I knew that the dentist couldn’t do a lot for her, but I was believing that we would get a better report than what I thought we might hear! And praise God, the report was pretty decent! A couple of her teeth are definitely lost but everything else, teeth and gums looked pretty good! The one recommendation was to switch from a regular toothbrush to an electric one therefore affording me to perform a better job with the limitations inherent with doing the brushing for her. My teeth and gums were also in much better shape than I thought!
Those two good reports encouraged me as I studied Jeremiah 29:11 again this morning. I personalized the verse as I read it saying: “I know the plans that I have for you Jim and Piper, declares the Lord. They are plans for your peace and not for disaster, plans that will give you two a future filled with my Godly expectations.” (God’s Word © personalized)
As I reviewed the results of our dental visit, I thought about how peace and disaster are distinct opposites! I drove away from our experience with the great team of folks at our daughter’s office (where she is an X-Ray Tech and office assistant) thanking the Lord for the peace I felt and at the same time blew out a breath of relief in that we successfully made it through another medical process in what at times seems to be a never ending progression of office visits, tests and medical procedures. (Tomorrow we have an appointment with a physical therapist at one of Duke’s specialty hospitals in Durham!)
The report we received yesterday should not really have surprised me as Jeremiah 29:11 informs us that God’s plans should bring us peace and not disaster. That word “peace” or "shalom" is one of my wife’s favorites. It is another one of those all-encompassing words that covers all areas of our spiritual and physical lives and includes: “completeness, soundness, welfare, safety, health, prosperity, tranquility, contentment and friendship both human and in covenant with God.” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions)
That my friend, is the kind of future that God has planned for you and me! And I am not just talking about in the eternal realm but right here and now as well! Remember, your future starts with your next breath!
I got real excited a few months ago as I was sitting next to the bed speaking out our healing scriptures to Piper one morning. I was getting ready to confess Matthew 14:36 over her when I suddenly heard myself thanking Jesus that He had become personally involved with Piper’s case. Then without thinking I switched scriptures and declared “for Matthew 8:17 says that You yourself took her infirmities and weaknesses and personally bore the Alzheimer’s disease and every other thing that has attached itself to it.”
That statement reminded me of our first visit to the brain specialist in San Francisco a few years back. At the end of the multi-hour appointment, Dr. Madison took Piper’s hand, looked at me and said that if we didn’t mind the travel (a little over an hour from our hometown) that she would be happy to take over the care of Piper’s case. That was the same thing that Jesus said to us as He spoke through Matthew 8:17. He was the specialist that we needed to see Piper through this journey of complete healing and restoral. Just like the case with the sick in the land of Gennesaret that is summed up in Matthew 14:36.
And you know…. That it is exactly what Jesus wants to do for you! He wants to personally take over your case and provide you with His Godly expectations… His peace for any needful situation you face. Remember, His shalom kind of peace covers EVERTHING – Every need in every area of your life! You don’t think that He would want you to be complete in only a few areas of your life do you? NO! His peace and His love for you and me covers every aspect of our being… physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
His plans definitely do not include disaster or evil which in the Greek includes things that are “bad, evil, disagreeable, malignant, painful, unhappy or sad, injurious, worthless or full of calamity” (Strong’s and BDB). The enemy of our souls might try to get us to believe his lies and cause us to think that God is the author of such calamities, but scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11, Acts 10:38 and Jesus’ own words in John 10:10 prove that reasoning to be as far from the truth as the east is from the west!
So… what will you future hold? Well, simply dive into the Word of God between the covers of your Bible and find out! You’ll see that His plans are for “peace and not disaster” and are fully prepared and able “to give you a future filled with His Godly expectations” of good!
Because of the early hour of Piper’s appointment tomorrow, I will need to take a day off from the blog. So I’ll close this week off a little early and pray that you have a great and PEACEFUL weekend as you stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s FUTURE am I expecting to believe for today?”