Of course, it's never a good thing when one nations conquers yours! Your entire lifestyle changes. You get hit with taxes, could have your property taken away, and you could even become slaves. Imagine that everything that you have right now, everything that you've worked so hard for, was just taken away. Your children are drafted to serve in the army of your new master, and you are forced to work without pay. You would call that a pretty bad situation, right?
Plus, the worst thing is that you'd be living in this condition for many, many years. You'd most likely not live to see the day when another nation sets you free.
Now, what if someone were to tell you to make the most of your situation? You would think that person lost his or her mind! How could you make the best out of being ruled by another nation?
According to the Bible, God told the Hebrews that instead of praying that they would escape Babylon, that they should make themselves comfortable there. "Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. 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." (Jeremiah 29:5-6) God also tells them in that same passage: "Pray to the Lord for it [Babylon], because if it prospers, you too will prosper" (verse 6).
Despite living in a bad situation, these people were told to make the absolute best out of it, because it was clear that they weren't leaving it any time soon.
Sometimes, you have to ask yourself, "What if my situation does not change?" So many of us are just living for the day when life works out the way we want it to. We long to get that better job, to make better money, to find a spouse, to have children, to move to a different location, to go to school, etc. We think that life will one day change for the better and we'd be happy again.
Well, what if none of that ever happens? What if you just can't find that right job? What if your business just doesn't work out? What if you never get cured of your sickness? What if you are stuck living in your neighborhood? Instead of longing for that story-book happy ending, we need to prepare ourselves for the fact that our situation may NEVER change.
However, just because your situation may not change doesn't mean it's the end of the world for you. It means that you just need to learn to work with it. Instead of leaving your situation, you need to learn to THRIVE in it.
In history, whenever a nation conquers another, the sole purpose of the conquering nation wasn't to wipe out the other nation. The conquering nation's sole purpose was to expand its kingdom. Very often, the conquering nation would allow other nations to continue with their way of life with some adjustments. When Rome took over as the world power, the Kingdom of Judah was one of the nations Rome controlled. Rome allowed the Jews to continue with their lifestyle as long as they paid their taxes and don't participate in any kind of revolts.
However, the Jews revolted two times against Rome, and eventually, Rome just destroyed Judah around 70 A.D. Had the Jews just learned to work with what they had and learned to THRIVE where they were, they wouldn't have had to suffer such a horrific loss.
Sometimes, trying to force your situation to change could harm you. The best way to change your situation is to WORK with it. When you work with what you have and learn to THRIVE in it, you'd be much better off than you'd be if you try to force your situation to change.
You see, you can't really live life when you're always dreaming about "one day." You know, "One day, my dreams would come true," "One day, I will find my happiness," "One day, I will feel complete." Well, what if that day never comes? Then what? What are you going to do, just curl up somewhere and die or find a way to THRIVE where you are?
Many of you are NOT where you'd thought you'd be in life. You're looking at the success of your friends and wish that you could be them. Well, you're NOT them. You are YOU, and you are where you are now. Don't cry about not having things turn out your way. Look at how you could use your situation to your advantage, and one day, things will ultimately work out.
You have to be like a weed: thrive where you've been planted. Weeds don't look for the perfect place. Wherever the wind blew the spores of the weeds, it will be there that the weeds will sprout and take over a garden!
So, start living TODAY, even in a bad situation. Make adjustments, tweak a few things, and see how you could better yourself where you are right now.