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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Exile Part 2

When I wrote my last post on exile according to Kahlil Gibran's prophet, I desperately wanted to include something more at the end. Verses about exile taken from another source, the Bible. But for the life of me, I couldn't find the particular verses I wanted. I searched, hastily turning pages and even typed the bits I could remember into Google, but got all the wrong verses. So as it was late (well, late for me as I am no longer the night owl I used to be and now greedily lust after all the sleep I can get.:), I gave up gracefully and went to bed.

The next day I picked up my Bible again and as so often happens, turned to the very chapter that the previous night had eluded me. I want to share it because the words give a fuller explanation of exile, a fuller view, an idea that whatever sort of exile we are in can be embraced.

"Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you, pray for it to the Lord, for upon its welfare depends your own." Jeremiah 29: 7-9

"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord. Plans for your welfare , not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call to me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, say the Lord, and I will change your lot. I will gather you together from all the places to which I have banished you and bring you back from the place I have exiled you." Jeremiah 29: 11-15

I never viewed my own sadness as an exile until my mom sent me those verses one day in a message. One day out of many when I absolutely could not find the meaning in any of my sorrow, when every day seemed hopeless and my depression and resulting anger, eternal. I read them and cried, not because they suddenly made everything better but because I began to see that someday all the pieces of myself would be gathered together and returned to me and I, whole and strong, would be allowed to return to the life and the joy and hope and promise that I had been exiled from.

A promise of restoration. A promise I was not ever alone. A promise of incredible beauty and a future full of hope if I could just hold out for it.


Rebecca said...

I know this inward feeling (of exile) well. I will come back to re-read these last two posts later today....but they immediately took MY mind to Peter's words in 1 Peter is 2:11...

“Dear friends, I urge you us aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires that war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

Some translations use the word "exile" here, I believe. If not HERE, somewhere else in his letters.

See also Psalm 137!!!

I sense and identify with your heart, dear friend.

Lori said...

Oh yes, these verses fit quite well with your last post about exile. These verses from Jeremiah are ones I have clung to quite often over the years. I was a newer unseasoned believer when my young daughter(I think she was around 9 years old) picked these verses to memorize for a project at included more of that same chapter and so it was a lot to memorize...anyways that was the first time I really heard these verses and I was so touched by them and like you, I cried. I think because they spoke to me in such a way that I needed to hear.

Oh Colleen thank you for the gift of your words this morning. I really needed to be reminded that He does still have plans for me and a future of hope. Bless you dear woman. ((((Colleen)))

Life with Kaishon said...

I love that. We are never alone with Jesus. And he knows and cares about our every need. Even when we can not comprehend it.

kate said...

I know its not quite the same thing, but I have always thought myself (or felt myself) in exile here........... Kate

Alicia said...

This inward exploration that you have is important to share for others, to gain insight within their own lives, hearts and personal exiles, thank you.

May I share these verses from the message.
Isaiah 43:1-5....Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name.. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end. Because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a price for you: all of Egypt, with Cush and seba thrown in. That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. So don't be afraid: I'm with you...

~I love reading here and joining in with your posts.
I hear in your honesty and Your heart that is beautiful!

a prairie girl in california said...

Colleen. thank you from the depths of my heart for sharing these verses. I am so thankful that when it seems we can not seem to find our way a friend, sister, or brother is led by God to share a verse and it lightens our hearts. thank you for doing this for me... as it seems that first verse you shared I had never read... thank you again.

Cheyenne said...

Thank you for posting this-I'm with the Prairie Girl in California-my heart needed this.

Robin said...

I know just what you are talking about here. I didn't get those verses, but I did get a "conversation" with God that told me I needed to wait for it. That all of the bad stuff had purpose and meaning. Knowing that makes it easier to take. The bad days are still bad, but they go down easier.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Colleen - I knew we had a connection - not easy to explain and when I saw that verse today it was confirmed. Jer 29:11 is 'my' verse - one that I have adopted over the years. And in times of doubt and trouble that verse would come to me in a random reading or in sermon - or even a song. And I was assured. I'm so glad that these words are assuring you today of God's deep and abiding love for you. We all exiles, in a sense. from the love of God and are making our way back to Him.

Grandma K said...

I am still thinking of the interior exile you talked about in the previous post......

To me these verses in Jeremiah express God's amazing love for us, love that I feel as though I am just beginning to grasp.

Thank you!

Colleen said...

Thank you all for the comments, honestly, reading them all really moved me and it did my heart good to know that others can really identify with these feelings so thank you for being honest and open in return. I actually find your responses fascinating and am grateful you shared them with me. Interesting how many people first of all: feel or have experienced similar feelings of "exile" and also I am amazed to see how that verse speaks to so many. I feel touched by the responses to this post for some reason almost more than any other.

Angela said...

Jeremiah 29:11 is painted on my dining room wall and one of the first scriptures I memorized way back when....

Sure could use your prayers sis.

Presently I am looking for full time employment outside the home. SIGH...a HUGE change for all of us. The daycare has slowed down for close to a year now. Been doing it for close to 20 years..but I'm only working three days a week and it's just not cutting it.

I had a call for a job from a call center, one I used to work at a few years back for 10 months. I'm praying about this since for at least 4 months I will be working afternoons which means I will have to step down from all my activities and positions I hold at our Church. That's a hard one and I don't want to let those that are counting on me down, but I'm dealing with needing to help provide for my family.

I've also applied to a few other jobs where I would have to work some nights, but the latest with these jobs would still enable me to still be a part of the positions I hold..

Please pray for God's leading and that I will follow and trust He is in control and will not let me go down the wrong path...

Colleen, I'm trying hard not to worry and obsess about all these changes. I DON'T want to step out of God's will and take a job that was not intended for me.

Colleen said...

Angela, I will. You deserve every good thing. Praying for you and your family.

Crown of Beauty said...

Oh Colleen these words are lovely.

Makes me feel like crying.

Two years ago my husband and I were sent to live in Thailand for a year.

At the start we were homesick. It was such an unfamiliar place. I know how you feel...what you mean when you write these words.

God took my husband home to heaven six weeks after we returned home to our native land. He was so looking forward to coming home.

I know now, it was a homesickness for heaven. That thought comforts me.

I loved this post, Colleen.

Thank you for sharing.