Time For God: Day 17

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 126:1-2:
When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
Social mobility acts like an engine; it drives people across the nations of the world. Travel enables many to reach the success they desire. Some seek new adventure; others search for material prosperity. Many pursue job promotions or superior careers; others move for family reasons …just like Moira [name changed].

Arriving from East Africa, Moira faced Canada’s stark contrasts. My wife and I slowly toured the supermarket. We recognized Moira’s facial features. With a smile we greeted her in Swahili. Her joy broke into the broadest grin. She looked excited, happy to be recognized, greeted, and affirmed. She told us how she loves her new life here. She also acknowledged how she misses family, loved ones, and friends.

Overnight Moira gained new opportunities but lost her primary network of support. A major cause of depression worldwide is the pain of dislocation. When support falls, anxiety rises, depression bites. Life quickly seems like an impossible challenge.  

You may have faced the feeling of being stretched far too thin. Arriving in a new location can do that. A new language, climate, and diet await you. New customs and traditions, rituals and laws confront you all at once. People you would normally turn to for encouragement disappear from view. Abandoned, lost, and displaced you start to hope that someone might find you in the Lost-and-Found.

When God’s captive people return to Zion we witness their utter joy! They feel caught up in a beautiful dream; extras in a Hollywood movie. Laughter and singing fill the air. Emotional exile, however, doesn’t only fly beneath a foreign flag. Being lost and alone relates to spiritual drift. A rebellious spirit shifts you far from God’s presence. Returning to Him delivers real joy. Your heart sings the song of the saints: “The Lord has done great things for us.”

When has God taken removed your sorrow, replacing it with joy? How has He won you back to the centre of His love? You may have a story worth telling. Who will you share it with, today?

Jesus Friend of Sinners, your love is strong and tender, your promises firm and true. You relentlessly pursue me. I drift from You so often. At times I even flee from your presence. Lord, in my sorrow forgive me. Draw me close to You. Cause my heart to sing again. Draw me to a neighbour who seeks the joy of your amazing love. Amen.

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