• Dianne Miley

Hope and a Future

Updated: Jul 3

“‘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.’” Jeremiah 29:11


“But what does that future look like Lord?” Fear racked Rachel’s heart as she set her Bible on the nightstand and burrowed beneath the blankets.

Her world had turned upside down. Her husband was dead. Her children were hurting. Her bank account was empty and her job was uncertain.

Pressing her fingers into her eye sockets didn’t stem the tears. She contemplated raising her young daughters without a husband. She and Jake had struggled enough as a couple – now the responsibilities rested on her shoulders alone.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.”

Isaiah 41:10a

The words whispered, as if Jesus Himself were speaking to her. That wasn’t likely. She wasn’t some prophet or something.

“I am speaking to you, Rachel.”

She shook her head. Her world had gone crazy and now she was nuts, too. She snapped off the light and punched up her pillow.

Jake had died – not in a blaze of glory but in a haze of mystery.

She wasn’t sure how or why he died. Excruciatingly worse, she wasn’t sure if he was in heaven.

Of course she’d shared the gospel with him. And she’d thought he was a Christian when they were dating. He’d gone to church with her and said all the right things.

Before knowing for sure, she’d fallen head over heels in love and gotten pregnant. Big mistake number one.

So they’d planned a quick wedding. Big mistake number two.

Unwilling to rehash mistakes three to infinity, she mourned the travesty of her marriage and now the tragedy of Jake’s death. The verse haunted her in the darkness.

“‘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.’” Jeremiah 29:11

To prosper sounded like some sick joke. She couldn’t pay the rent without Jake’s income. She’d barely paid it before. Anger twisted in her gut. His unreliability hurt her on so many levels.

And the burden of not knowing his eternal fate would weigh heavy on her heart for the rest of her life.

That was the future she had to face.

Where is my hope, Lord? What kind of future is this?

Again, the gentle whisper came.

“I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10b

The second part of the verse promised a small measure of comfort. And yet, God was in heaven while she struggled here on earth.

Too exhausted to sob herself to sleep again, she pushed it all from her mind and tried to focus on her blessings. She thanked God that her daughters were healthy, they had a safe home, and there was a week’s worth of food in the pantry.

Give me peace, Lord, she murmured.

Sleep overtook her weary mind and body, sooner than it had in months.

And then she dreamed.

Fluffy white clouds parted as Rachel looked into heaven. Jesus appeared with a joyful smile of welcome. He motioned to a large easel on his right.

Gorgeous watercolors came to life in a glorious painting of the garden of Eden. The artist paused to look up from his masterpiece. It was Jake.

Love and joy emanated from his soul, flooding her with peace. He smiled in satisfaction, and returned to his painting.

Heaven was Jake’s future. This would be her future too.

The warms arms of Jesus embraced her. Her heart overflowed with His love.

Peace settled over her. Jesus would be with her, whatever life had in store.

He would strengthen her and help her.

He would prosper her and not harm her. He would give her hope and a future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” Jesus whispered in her ear.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalms 62:5


Read Rachel's story in Roses for Rachel. Find it HERE.



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