This post continues my series on how to recover from a crash and burn. It is based on the story of the Israelites when they experienced a crash and burn experience and were sent into exile to live in Babylon for 70 years. It’s ancient history, yes. But it’s relevant to anyone who fails miserably and ends up on the sidelines of life.
Exile is the place in between your failure and your recovery. No one wants to be there. It might be a treatment center. It might mean a divorce or being unemployed. But if you want to regain your life you have to start in exile. Here are two reasons that exile is a valuable step in the recovery process.
Exile gives you perspective after a crash and burn.
It’s interesting how we often learn more apart from something than close up. You know the saying…you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. You don’t appreciate your spouse until you separate. You don’t appreciate your parents until you move across the country to college or your first job. You don’t appreciate your job until you get laid off. When you lose something you often appreciate it more. You understand it better. You get perspective.
When the Jews were forced out of Judah they suddenly realized all that God had done for them through the years. They began to realize how they took God and his care for granted. Exile gave them new eyes to see how good they had it before.
Exile shifts your reliance to God from other people or things.
Exile is any place that’s outside of your comfort zone. Outside your comfort zone you don’t have your usual people to help or support you and so you are much more inclined to turn to God. When you crash and burn some people leave you. You can’t lean on them anymore. When you crash and burn you might not be able to turn to your favorite vice to ease the pain.
The Jews were out of their element in Babylon. They only had God and each other to turn to. Exile caused many of them to turn back to God. That’s what God wants us all to do in exile…start to trust him in ways we never have before. The message God has for us is…THIS time around put me first in your life so this doesn’t happen again.
Question: If you’ve gone through an exile, what did you learn? Leave your comment below and consider sharing on Facebook.