As Jacob's journey continues, he is about to leave the land he has called home for approximately 20 years. When he arrived, he was looking for refuge and a family. With God's help, Jacob built a family, including two wives and twelve children. When the time is right to move, God will always make a way. Sometimes that way is uncomfortable. Verses 1 & 2 state, "Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, Jacob, has taken all that was our father's and from what was our father's he gained all this wealth. And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before." There is some truth to the saying, but it is somewhat skewed. Jacob arrived with one very important reassurance from God in Genesis chapter 28. As his time with Laban ends, there is a sense of hostility. And God's protection is clear in this situation, as seen in verse 3, "Then the Lord said to Jacob, return to the land of your fathers, and your kindred, and I will be with you."
Like Jacob, you may be in a place where you feel uneasy, or the people that once held you down have shifted. Even in these circumstances, choose to recognize the hand of God in your life. And stay focused on his promise to all of us that He will be with you. This promise is not only to Jacob but also to us as children of our Heavenly Father through adoption, as stated in Ephesians 1:5 "In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as a son through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will." And as his children, we can expect the steady hand of God to move in our lives. Let me be clear: this does not mean a life without struggle or difficulties, but a life firmly planted in the foundation of Christ. This chapter reminds us of God's unfailing protection and cares for His children. Verses 11-13, "Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob and I said, here I am! And he said, lift up your eyes and see all the goats that mate with the flocks are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred." I encourage you to read Genesis 31 with God's new sense of expectancy. Once you have completed the reading, take some time, retreat to a quiet place, and thank God for his merciful and gracious hand in your life. God is good even when our circumstances are not. Even if God does not change your current circumstances, know that He is still God and very much in control. So, return to His presence today and allow His love to guide you back to peace.
I will leave you with Hebrews 13:8-9 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods that have not benefited those devoted to them."
Remember, God loves you, and so do I.