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A People in Exile (Part 2)


Mother Nature has this uncanny tendency to turn upon herself - undoing with her left hand what she has made with her right. She sends hailstorms to the destruction of her own blossoms. She unleashes a tempest upon the crop that she herself has ripened for the harvest. Lightning splits the trees that she has nurtured and sets the forest aflame.

Nature is no believer in disarmament because the birds prey upon the insects and worms. The glowworm feeds upon the snail. There is no kindness in the seed, no benevolence in the forest - for everywhere we turn all are in conflict with one another.

There is something inherently illogical and absurd in life. Have you ever thought about the fact that the misfortune of one community makes the fortune of another? The courts as well as law enforcement officers depend upon the lawbreaker and criminal for their livelihood. Doctors depends upon the disabled and sick for their well being. Funeral directors rely upon the bereaved and dead that they might live. Psychiatrists and psychologists need the mentally unstable for their daily bread. Scarcity of bread brings destitution to the poor and high prices to the needy.

So you see, we too, are a people in exile and the exile in which we suffer has relieved us of all else except our pains. Our present day Babylon have locked us from our personality; shut out our freedom. We have been caged from ourselves. And in this struggle to survive, many of us have lost our souls. So we are left with our sorrows and our pains. With these we pay the debt, the price of living. So it is will all people who, like Israel, suffer exile.

Yet, we thank God today, the precious words of Second Isaiah. It is relevant because it has a message for those of us who have found ourselves a long way from home. It seems to be telling us to get our minds together. While we are in a world where everything is seemingly against us; where Mother Nature and living and surviving is a struggle, we get a word from the Lord telling us to wake up, get up and look up.

We must wake up from our spiritual slumber, stupor of despair, state of sluggish dullness. We must get up from of our beds of spiritual bondage, chairs of soothing contentment, couches of hopeless resignation, and stools of bitter complaints. We must look up to the hills from whence cometh our help, to Him who is the author and finisher our faith, to the everlasting promises of God our Father.

We are an exiled people today only because we choose to be. Each man must find the Himalayan peak for himself. God did not make us to sit down on flowery beds of ease; but we are built to climb. God has supplied us with a supernatural power; that spirit within which is able to conquer every danger and every difficulty.

Therefore, we must not resign from life because of our perils. We must not allow ourselves to be listed among those who asked, "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land." But we must sing the song of the brave because I have learned that there really is a silver lining behind every dark cloud. Why not press on until you find it? Why not learn how to live in freedom even in the midst of bondage?

The problem with a lot of us is that we suffer from terminal spiritual inertia. The spiritual power God has given us has undergone a critical shortage. We lapse into a state of spiritual bankruptcy. We have no oil in our lamps, no fuel to keep the fire burning.

Be reminded today, that God has given you the power to overcome.

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available in July.


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