Exile

Desert

“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.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to 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, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jer. 29:11-14)

Today’s post comes from something I was thinking about today during my devotional time. The bible study I am working on said to read (Jer. 29:11), but I continued reading. The scripture talks about a time in history when the Babylonians carried away the young, strong Jewish men as slaves. They were held captive for 70 years. But in this scripture, God is saying…I’m coming to your rescue. There is a happy ending. I know you are in captivity and I will set you free!!

I believe that there are times in our lives when we all feel like we are being held in captivity and have been in exile. It happens during times in our lives when trials come. It happens when we lose a job, or someone we love becomes very ill. It happens when our children go astray or a spouse walks away from a marriage. It happens to everyone at one time or another,

and we feel like God has forgotten us and has cast us aside.

I found so much hope in this rich segment of scripture today. Especially in the last verse where it says…”I will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” I guess the part that really struck me is that God carries us into exile. He carries us away from our happy little lives to a place He designates. He carries us. He doesn’t throw us away. He doesn’t kick us out. He doesn’t close the door behind us, HE CARRIES US!  And while we are in exile, He ministers to us. He hears us when we call on Him. And he brings us back. We don’t have to find our way back on our own, He will bring us back.

So, I am hopeful.  Although there are many who feel like they are in exile, I know that God is with them. I know that God is with me. And He is bringing all of us back from exile…He promised.

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