Few of us will ever live in Exile, thank God. Few of us will face what these people faced, or what my own ancestors faced. But there are challenges enough for all of us. Challenges about what it means to be faithful when the world seems to turn upside down. Challenges about believing God is with us, when it seems like God is silent. Challenges in times of loss, or when we are living in a new time, or a new place, and nothing seems familiar. Those times when our very identity is shaken.
Do not lose hope, the Lord tells us. Do not look for easy answers, because they will always disappoint you. But look for my presence. Because even here, even now, in whatever trial you face or trauma you experience, even there, I am with you. And wherever I am, you are home.