Monday, August 29, 2011

Packing Up for Someplace New (Part 1 of 2)

The Jamieson household seems to be moving in the direction of new things these days. We have just launched our oldest daughter into college; within days, we expect to receive official tax exempt status for our non-profit ministry; we’re also praying a lot about how to support our middle daughter’s blossoming music career. Many of you may also be facing new adventures or promptings from God as a new school year begins and the fall season nears.

In Genesis 31:13, God told Jacob,

“I am the God you met at Bethel, the place where you anointed the pillar of stone and made a vow to serve me. Now leave this country and return to the land you came from.”

As sisters Rachel and Leah gathered up their things and packed for the new adventure ahead, it seems Rachel included items that would give her a sense of security (31:19) or connection to her past. The idols Rachel hid and the patterns of behavior that Jacob and Rachel took with them were harmful. Rachel would have been better off walking away from things that would keep her stuck in comfort zones, fear, fantasies and sin — embracing, instead, what was ahead.

Rachel had everything going for her (29:17-20) yet it seemed like nothing would ever be enough for her (30:1-2,24). She even had an opportunity to come clean from her sins but she kept things hidden in fear and shame (31:33-35).

I hope you’ll take time to read chapters 29 through 31 of Genesis. I’m prayerfully asking these questions and making some very helpful discoveries. I’m trusting God will speak to your hearts also because He promises that His Word will never return void. (In her book Idols of the Heart, Elyse Fitzpatrick brings some very practical examples to her reflection on Rachel’s story that would resonate with many of us too.)

How would you describe one “new place” where God is sending you in life right now?

As you follow God’s prompting into a new season, what do you need to leave behind?

I hope you won’t rush through these questions like I was tempted to do at first. It helped me to brainstorm a list of things that came to my mind and then I prayed over where these ideas might be coming from the Holy Spirit in my life.

Come, LORD Jesus, teach our spirits to yield! AMEN

By the way, I don’t usually stay in one place very long but this story has so gripped me that I’ve decided to do a “Part 2” next week. I hope you’ll join me!

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