This semester has been a hard semester. A semester of new and unknown things: From not being able to compete this year in cross country, to trying to navigate where my life is headed going into the last few years of college, there has definitely been some struggles.
This year the discipleship group I'm in is going through the book of Daniel. Its a story of young men from Israel who were at their prime, ready to take on the world, ready for success. But then God handed them over to the Babylonians, into exile, an unknown place. This is not where they had hoped to be…
I'm also reading a book called 7 Men And The Secret Of Their Greatness, by Eric Metexas. It goes through 7 highly influential men and what made them great. I've noticed a theme in each one of their stories: They all at one point in their lives were at places of exile, unfamiliar places they didn't want to be in.
One of the men, George Washington, found himself with a choice to become America's first leader. It had never been done before.
Eric Liddell found himself in a predicament: He had to decide whether or not to drop out of the Olympics, a race he had been training for his whole life, because of his spiritual convictions. No one had ever dropped out of the Olympics due to faith.
William Wilberforce had a choice to stand up for his beliefs or not about slavery in England, but the decision came at a high price: if he stood up for his beliefs, he would have to sacrifice everything he knew and loved in life, and his reputation among the English elite.
This semester I feel like sometimes I am in exile, in Babylon, in an unknown place where dreams go to die, where there is no hope left.
While each of these men I have been studying have been in their Babylon, they all believed in one truth that would carry them through their struggles:
No matter the pain or strife, God's faithfulness would see them through to the end.
In Isaiah 43:1-7 God writes a love letter to us when he says,
"I am the God who made you in the first place, the one who got you started.
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 your 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, your Savior
It's comforting to know when life gets tough, when the waters just don't seem bearable, there is a God who cares. My time of "exile" has been difficult, but in the end I will trust a God who is sovereign.
Today, I am thankful for that truth, that the Lord will be faithful to deliver me in any situation I come across… just like He did for Daniel in Babylon!