"Shoes, A Bed, And A Vacuum Cleaner" (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

On this one year anniversary of my father's passing, I dedicate this to him. Thank you for everything you did for me, Dad. I miss you and love you.


My father was a very practical man and his sage words of wisdom still resonate within me. When I was preparing to leave home for my medical internship, he gave me a peculiar suggestion.


“Son, when you are on your own, you need to spend money on these three things-a good pair of shoes, a good bed, and…a vacuum cleaner!”


“Seriously, Dad? A vacuum cleaner?” I laughed out loud, expecting that he would laugh at what I presumed was a joke. But he was quite serious.


“Why are you laughing?”


“You’re serious?” my smile quickly melted into confusion. “I can understand the shoes and bed since you need to be comfortable during the day and when sleeping. Why a vacuum cleaner?”


My father looked at me as if I was completely clueless.


“How else are you going to clean your place?”


Made sense. A few months later, when I was on my own, I took his advice. I made sure I bought a very good pair of shoes, a top quality mattress, and I diligently shopped until I found a top rated vacuum cleaner. And like so much of his earlier advice, he was correct. When my living quarters were clean, I had a better attitude about myself and my life. But it took the actual experience of purchasing the vacuum cleaner for the idea to resonate within me as truth.


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)


Like my father’s advice, sometimes the advice and directions God gives me seems unrelated or unnecessary to satisfy my needs. I look back over so many times in my life when God placed me in a certain situation that seemed to have no relevance to my career or what I needed to accomplish or learn at that moment in my life. Only with the passage of time did His divine guidance and providence become manifest and certain.  God has my best interests at heart to give me a future and a hope. But there is something more that I must do.


Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord...

Jeremiah 29:12-14 (ESV)


As the next verses declare, God asks me to call upon Him in prayer and honestly seek Him and His will in my life. When I do, God’s wisdom and choices for my life will become clearer.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.