My family went on a vacation to Washington DC recently which is about a seven and half hour trip from where we live. It was a beautiful trip to get there and the kids were very well-behaved in the car. We broke the trip into two days since we were not able to leave until the afternoon which allowed us to get to our hotel and let the kids (and me and my husband) have fun in the pool. Making it to our destination the next day brought a sense of relief and excitement and even though we arrived at our hotel in Alexandria around noon, we immediately left on the Metro to get into the city. I think of longer trips I've endured such as the flight to Zambia with a migraine and once again feeling relief to finally make it to our destination. When we are on a journey, there is a sense of comfort to know that we made it to our destination even if the destination is unfamiliar territory. Last week, I looked at the story of Jacob stealing Esau's blessing and the consequences that had for the entire family. I also read about Jacob's flight to his uncle's home and the encouragement and revelation God gave Jacob along the way. Today I am picking up the story where he finds Laban's home; please read Genesis 29:1-14.
When Jacob arrived at the well, he had a sense that he may have finally found where he needed to be. He inquired about his uncle Laban with the nearby shepherds and met his cousin, Rachel. Notice his reaction when he met Rachel. First he showed respect to her and Laban by watering the flock even though it was against tradition and then he wept as he introduced himself to her. Looking back on the reason he left home and traveled to Laban's home in the first place reminds of why he was so emotional. His brother, Esau was so angry with him that he vowed to kill Jacob, so in a sense he was fleeing for his life. God met Jacob on his journey and promised him safety and told him that he would fulfill the promise given to Abraham through him. But there was still an incredible sense of relief to know that he had made it to his destination and his journey was done for now. Also consider that Jacob hadn't ever been on such a journey and we are told in Genesis 25:27 that Jacob preferred to stay at home.
When we are following Christ, we are taken on spiritual journeys as well. Sometimes the journey is pleasant and it is like a vacation where we are taken to a destination that brings us a time of rest, but other times it is a hard journey and we really do not know what lies ahead. We may even experience God's presence in our lives in a fresh new way during the journey; however, it is still long and hard. But the journey is necessary to bring us to where God wants us. After such a difficult journey, we find ourselves arriving to unfamiliar territory but we still find relief knowing that the journey is done for now. You may be on a difficult journey right now, but know that God is with you and will see that you arrive to the destination He has planned for you. Maybe you are in unfamiliar territory, but take comfort in the fact that God has you where He wants you.
Are you on a journey right now, or have you arrived to a new place?
This post is linked with Monday Musings and Sharing His Beauty.