We can be dry as dust, distracted and insensible to God’s presence. Still we can pray...and if we make even the smallest gesture of availability he will be there.
- Carol Zaleski, Ph.D.
My kids and I were reading this morning about the exile to Babylon and stopped to consider how the Israelites must have felt. Alone. Abandoned. Hopeless in the knowledge that life would never be the same.
We got to talking about how, when life is hard, it’s awfully easy to fall into thinking that God has forgotten us. The challenge then is to live faithfully, even though it’s not comfortable.
That led to a conversation about how our faith can be limited by the place and time in which we live. I challenged my kids to consider whether or not their understanding of who God is works in a variety of settings. What if we lived in poverty in rural Uganda? Would our praise be focused on different things?
What if we were settlers on the American frontier a hundred years ago? Would our understanding of God’s provision be the same?
What if we were Christians persecuted by Nero? How might our concept of hope differ?
Sometimes when we’re wondering why God isn’t helping us with a particular problem, or when we’re writhing in the feeling of being trapped in a situation, or when we can’t see what God wants of us, it helps to view the difficulty from another vantage point. Placing ourselves in the sandals of the Hebrews in captivity may bring us a lot closer to seeing what God is asking of us... and help us see how to be faithful in all situations.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.