"This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon." Jeremiah 29:4
If you drive through some parts of Detroit, you may see a bleak and overwhelming sight. There are blocks of burned out homes and run down businesses. You can find factories that have long since shut their doors, and bridges where the homeless are gathered. At one point in recent history, 60,000 people were leaving the city each year to find a better way. And yet, some have stayed behind.
At a recent business meeting, I was shocked by a story that never made the Detroit news. Outside a factory off of I-94, a man was found dead. He had a hack-saw in his hand, and was laying near an electrical pole. The police told the business owner who had found the body that this was a more common event than anyone would guess. The man had climbed the utility pole and tried to steal the conductive copper line. The man was electrocuted and flung from the pole.
Whether it was out of ignorance or greed, this man sealed his own fate with his tragic choice. If this kind of destructive behavior that has become more and more common, why would anyone choose to stay? God, it seems, uses times like this to raise His own people. The verse above from Jeremiah is followed by a command from God for His people to be fruitful in their new situation. He is telling them to do more than just stand still. They are to thrive in their new setting. It was a far cry from their promised land, but it was the new place of promise. And so it is that Detroit may be a place where many need to make a decision. Will we stand still, fall back, or forge ahead?
Nearly every professional in and around the city has considered what they may need to do in order to survive. We all make the choice every day to either stick it out or pack it in. Simply standing still is the most sure-fire way to find yourself frustrated and hurt. It is a time like this that we all need prayer and insight in order to figure out what to do next. God's will for us may be to find a better way right where we are at.
Life, it seems, is too short. It goes by whether we like it or not. If you find yourself unable to move from your present circumstance, it may be that you still need to learn a couple things about where you are. God's will may be in your own backyard, and not on the other side of the fence. Before you make a decision that pulls you away, take a look at Matthew 6:33 and you may find that God has different plans.
Be blessed this week as you face each day. There are days when we will soar, and days where just getting out of bed is a tremendous act of faith. Either way, God will be there with you. Tune in again later this week as we continue to share in this great gift called life. Until then, God bless and keep reading.