A Future and a Hope – the Work of Exile

My spirit has been very unsettled this week. As I have prayed, I’ve found that the only words I hear from God are: rest and be still.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, those are the words: rest and be still.

I have not rested and have had trouble being still. The world still calls me to produce, to work, to move. Forward! Always forward. But I’ve only been spinning in circles.

I have been drawn to the periods of Exile and the Desert Wanderings of the Israelites. They made no forward movement, but they did learn dependence on God and God alone.

I’m done with this, though. I want to go back to church; I want to see you! I want my kids to go back to school. I want to go on mission trips and retreats. I want to have a big, amazing VBS!

My soul wrestles with this idea that, while those things are good and meaningful and to some extent, instituted by God – I was a slave to them.

Am I one who is crying in the desert that it would be better to be slave in Egypt than to die in this miserable place?

Am I willing to let go of those idols that once consumed me in order to move deeper, through the hard work of exile and the barrenness of the desert?

Our hope and our future lie on the other side of the desert.

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