'Once upon a time' as the saying goes, the Lord woke me with a massively big undertaking. Let me tell you about it.
 
I had felt totally bereft of His presence and had reached a crossroads. Did God care at all about me or did He not? Was I still on His radar or had He declared me out of bounds?

I had not done or thought anything particularly wrong that would have given me such feelings of destitution and yet I felt completely rejected.

After praying deeply for a reply direct from Scripture I opened my Bible totally at random. It was now or never. The Lord would give me a reply, a direction, or He would not. There was a sense of finality in my being. So I turned my Bible over and over in my hands with my eyes shut so there could be no possibility of collusion in my thoughts, and opened it.

At first the reading seemed completely meaningless and left me just as destitute as before I read it. I closed it quietly and sadly, believing I was beyond the care or redemption of the Lord. I looked at the dawn, which I often love to watch, and which was just beginning to lighten the hills outside, and turned forlornly aside.

Then something persuaded me to read the passage again. I opened it at the same place and read the story again. It told of how Jehoiachin, king of Judah, the Lord's people (See 2nd Kings 24:12), had been imprisoned by the king of Babylon and how the Babylonian king took Jehoiachin out of prison and gave him a seat at his own table. In fact, Jehoiachin was placed for the rest of his life, above the seats of all the other Godless kings in Babylon at that time. (See 2nd Kings 25:27-30)

I felt I knew how Jehoiachin felt while he was in prison because that is exactly where I had felt I was -- in a lonely prison, excluded and unwanted by the Lord.

But then Jehoiachin was taken out of prison and placed above all other kings at the king's table? What was the Lord trying to get me to see? Placed above all evil kings by the Lord -- was that reasonable? Was it reasonable for me -- a very ordinary person of no note? Yet it had happened repeatedly in the Old Testament. It happened to Joseph, (See Genesis 41:14), to Esther, (See Esther 4:14), and to Daniel and his companions under King Nebuchadnezer, in the Book of Daniel, and to others.

How utterly impossible for me! But true? Was it remotely possible that I was meant to read these things? I sat in silence, totally ambushed and overcome.

Then humbly I began to acknowledge what the Lord wants all His people to understand, "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6).

And in Revelation: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (Rev. 1:8)
 
The Lord Himself has released from the prison of eternal exclusion all who have responded to Him. He has placed them at His table where they are above the greatest of all evil governments and kings in the world.

Wherever we are placed, the Lord has His purpose for our being there. But remember, it is the most dangerous place in all the world. We are tempted above all others to abandon the will of the Lord and accept evil.

Whatever our position in life, our responsibility is to share what the Lord has shown us and taught us. We are to sit with those around us and bring the love of God to those who 'know not God.'
So please, if you are feeling strangely out of place, or alone, or abandoned, may I sit near you?

Elizabeth Price