Living in Exile

I was so unhappy and felt so displaced.  All I could think about was, ‘Why is this happening to me?’

Jeremiah 24:1-10

Reference:  v.5  “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.” (NIV Bible)

Explore:   When I was in a teenager I moved to four different schools in five years.  I’d love to say it got easier as it went along but the opposite was actually true.  The last school was horrendous for me.  My previous boarding school had closed down and I remember one specific night when I was lying in my bed at my new boarding school.  I was so unhappy and felt so displaced.  All I could think about was, ‘Why is this happening to me?’  My family seemed so far away, my old friends had pushed me aside in an attempt to make new friends and I couldn’t see God’s purpose in me going through such a difficult time.  It was like I was living in a land of exile and I couldn’t see my way back home.

Application:  Due to the rebellion of the kings of Judah, the Babylonians defeated the people of Judah and took them away from their land and back to Babylon.  The people would have felt rejected, frightened and displaced in a foreign land.  However, God did not leave them just because they had moved location.  He still said that, even in a foreign land, ‘My eyes will watch over them’.  Even when I felt in the foreign land of a new school, I now look back and see that God’s eyes were still watching over me too.  Just because I went through a difficult time and couldn’t see clearly into the future it did not mean that God had left me alone.  Now that I look back I can see that it was during that time when my faith in God grew and the challenges helped to mould me into the person that He wanted me to be, rather than the person that was acceptable to my peers.  There will always be times in our lives when we feel lonely and displaced.  God does not leave us in those times.  In fact, when we look back we may even discover that it was during those times that He was able to mould us into something even more spectacular.

Prayer:  Lord, I like to think that if I follow you my life will be easy and comfortable.  But that is not the case.  You don’t promise to make our life easy but You do promise to always ‘watch over’ us.  Thank you for Your love and compassion.  Amen.

When have you felt like you were exiled and in a dark place?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.