After living for 2 years in China I decided to move back to the states last July. Despite coming back to a familiar place, some aspects of the transition have been very difficult for me and though I am not necessarily in ‘exile’ I can relate to this passage in Jeremiah. There are times I’ve felt out of place or a little bit aimless when it comes to my purpose here, but looking at these words I’m encouraged to pray and become invested in the community. I’m starting to realize I can make a life here and seek the peace and prosperity of the city. It has been a powerful change in perspective.
Jeremiah 29:4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”