I know a guy who’s living in exile. He’s in a jail cell right now, far away from his family and friends and the comfort of his own bed. But whenever I talk to him, I hear hope in his voice. “Pastor, I started a Bible study in here,” he grins. He shares the names of the guys in his cellblock, their personalities, and their views about God. He prays for open doors for the gospel and is ready to baptize people in the shower!
Of course he wishes his exile was over. Of course he wishes he could rewind his life and do it differently. But until God changes his situation, he’s not going to be bitter. He’s going to make that place better.
Sounds like God’s message to the exiles in Babylon. He said, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).
That’s a good message if your life has taken you into “exile,” into a place you never would have chosen. Your nursing home, your apartment after the divorce, your not-so-dream job might feel like an exile, a foreign place, but God has put you there for a reason. Not only has God forgiven you of your sins through his Son, Jesus, he is working also to bless and prosper the place he has put you.
Remember—Life is not over. God still has plans. Plans to give you hope and a future.