WORD FOR THE WEEK Jeremiah 1:4-5 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Recently I recalled a surprising moment my mother and I had together years ago. We were talking one day and she told me that when I was a newborn she had placed me in my crib for a nap and went about her business. There were no baby monitors in those days – or at least not in our household. On this occasion, Mother went in to check on me and when she did she found me to be blue all over, waxen almost, and very cold. In retrospect, she was certain that, had she not checked on me, I would have died. Jeremiah 1:4-5 is a powerful scripture. However, we tend to stop reading or quoting it after the part about being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, usually in response to a moment of doubt or fear. Yet the next part of this passage is so very important, because that’s the part that tells us that we were made for a purpose. It doesn’t tell us what that purpose is – and we think we would like to know what God has for us, but really we do not need to know the purpose or the work the LORD has in mind. It is sufficient to know that He has a purpose for us; that we are important to Him; that we are not wasted space or materials. That we count. Certainly, although the LORD preserved me that day for a purpose here on earth, I was not preserved to be a prophet; but I was created with a purpose, as is every individual on this earth. As an adult, when I came to the LORD, even as a teenager when I attended Christian outreaches, I heard the words “God has a plan for you”. I never really understood what that meant. But Jeremiah 1:5 makes it clear that God really does have a plan for each one of us - just as He did for Jeremiah. This plan will impact those around us, and as we come to Him and allow Him, He will begin to unfold it over the course of our lives. Some people know early on what God wants of them. Some seem to have very clear and straight paths. For others, their path takes all kinds of twists and turns and it is only with some retrospect that the semblance of a purpose and usefulness is recognized. If you’ve ever planned anything – a reception, a company barbecue, a church picnic – you know what is needed now and what will be needed in the days ahead. You need a location – so you begin Googling. You need guests – so you begin inviting. You need food – so you begin cooking. You need supplies – so you begin purchasing. You need key people – so you begin appointing. Then when it’s all over, there’s the clean-up … and by the end of the event, you are tired and ‘glad it’s over’! Now imagine you are God of the universe. You are the Master Planner and Creator of the entire universe. You have planned its creation and existence from before there was a beginning – not just the plants, the land, the seas, the animals, but also the heavens, the seasons, the tides. Even light! Then you add human beings – each one fearfully and wonderfully made; each with his or her own physical and spiritual DNA; each with a different plan and purpose. God is the Master Planner. You were known before you were formed in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a unique and significant purpose in this universe – world without end. Let it unfold.