Ever had to pick up and move somewhere new? Ever been placed somewhere where you know nobody? How would you react if you were placed in the most awful place imaginable and told to rebuild and settle down? In Acts 8, Saul started to demolish the church. People were scattered all over the place. If I had to pick up and move to the most horrible place I can imagine, and told to rebuild and settle down, I think I would be rather fussy. However, Acts 8:4 says “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” They had been uprooted and placed elsewhere, yet they spoke the word. They continued to spread God’s word, and they continued to spread it to anyone who would listen…not just to “church people”.
Could you be exiled into your own brand of Babylon and still proclaim the name of Jesus? If you knew you had to be there for seventy years, could you realistically be ready to just go out and spread the word of God? Jeremiah 29: 4 – 7 says this:
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.”
I don’t know that I could be that scattered and still feel that faithful. The Lord said, though, that if the city to which you have been exiled prospers, you will also prosper. If we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, or maybe all too familiar territory that is so uncomfortable, we need to remember that as we continue to spread God’s word, as we continue to be giving of others, God will also continue to give to us. No matter our circumstances, we should spread the word of God to all who are willing to listen. I’m not saying to preach to, or at, them. I am saying to tell them about the most loving Father and His works…and His word.
We all have those moments when we feel like we have been uprooted from our comfort zone and placed in our own form of hell. That does not give us the right to look at Jesus and scream or cry, “Why?!” We can scream and cry all we want. God’s will be done…on Earth as it is in Heaven. His will! His will be done..not ours. The Lord places us where we can do the most good. I do believe that. I did not believe that for a very, very long time. That place may not feel okay to us, but the Lord knows better than we. He wants us to talk to others about His work, His word, His love. He wants us to tell believers and non-believers all the same. I cursed God and was always asking “Why?!” I have asked, “Why, God, did you put me in that place? Why, God, did you allow me to have to go through that? Why, God, did I have suffer through this or that?”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
He is always working for our good. He has a purpose for each and every single one of us. He wants us to remain faithful regardless if we feel safe, or if we feel scattered. Feeling scattered? Do not curse God about it. Instead, thank Him for the experiences that are leading you to fulfill your purpose on this Earth, and then spread this love with others.