Photo: K. Davis
The people of Jerusalem were adjusting to living in exile at the hands of the Babylonians. They were stranded in a strange land, the temple had been ruined, and any creature comforts they once had had been lost. This stop was not on any life plan they had mapped out. Yet here they were, in a trial, a supreme struggle, and a very precarious spot.
Jeremiah does not tell them to take cover or slink away under the cover of darkness. Jeremiah encourages them to stand up, thrive in spite of the difficulties, live above the circumstances. Jeremiah encourages the people of Jerusalem to bloom where they are planted. God has called them here and He will bless them and provide for them, just as He will do for us.
This flower is blooming on a dirt slope in my side yard. The slope has been permeated by gophers, nearly collapsed in the rains a few months ago, baked in the constant sun and high temperatures, and has no irrigation. Yet here, in this climate that is not ideal for a flower, it blooms with the most gorgeous colors of plum, pink, orange, and yellow. Just like this flower, the people of Jerusalem bloomed where God had planted them. Although they ended up living a life far different from what they had planned, they were exactly where God wanted them to be.