Archive for March 14th, 2023

Personal Exile


Written by H. Wayne Ballard, Jr., a contemporary author. This is an excerpt from his book “The Exile and Beyond.”

2 Kings 25 and 2 Chronicles 36 are perhaps two of the saddest chapters in the entirety of the Old Testament…The stories of hope and inspiration found in the tales of the patriarchs, the conquest, and the establishment of the monarchy must have seemed so far away at this moment in history to the people of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians have wiped out the city of Jerusalem, the temple, and the hopes and dreams of an entire nation. With this simple act, the exile has begun—an age where the elite of Judah who survived the atrocities described in the book of Lamentations were driven from the land of promise to a foreign land where they lived as political prisoners of the great Babylonian Empire. Many of the leaders of Judah were simply killed. Those left behind had no one to lead them, to encourage them, or to show them a way out of their newfound predicament. There was little or no hope. Sometimes in our world, there are many who find themselves in a similar situation. The loss of a job, the breakup of a relationship or marriage, terrible news of a newly discovered illness, or a host of other maladies can invade our lives. We, too, live among people who are enduring their own personal ‘exiles” every day…Though life brings periods of trial at various points in our lives, we are also challenged with how we respond to the obstacles that lay before us. Will we choose to live the remainder of our days in the land of exile, or will we return to our ancestral homelands and take up the challenge of rebuilding our lives into something new and fresh?


Written by Debbie McDaniel, a contemporary Christian writer.

Dear God, in this season of Lent, we’re reminded of our own difficulties and struggles. Sometimes the way seems too dark. Sometimes we feel like our lives have been marked by such grief and pain, we don’t see how our circumstances can ever change. But in the midst of our weakness, we ask that you would be strong on our behalf. Lord, rise up within us, let your Spirit shine out of every broken place we’ve walked through. Allow your power to be manifest through our own weakness, so that others will recognize it is You who is at work on our behalf. We ask that you would trade the ashes of our lives for the beauty of your Presence. Trade our mourning and grief for the oil of joy and gladness from your Spirit. Trade our despair for hope and praise. We choose to give you thanks today and believe that this season of darkness will fade away. Thank you that you are with us in whatever we face and that you are greater than this trial. We know and recognize that you are Sovereign, we thank you for the victory that is ours because of Christ Jesus, and we are confident that you have good still in store for our future. We thank you that you are at work right now, trading our ashes for greater beauty. We praise you for you make all things new. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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