What comes to your mind when you think of home? Is it where you live or where you were born or where you were raised? I personally think of home as where I was raised, and yes I was born there as well. Home has a very sentimental value to it, don’t you think?
How long has it been since you’ve been back home? To me, it has been somewhere around 30 years ago. I probably wouldn’t recognize the place anymore. Times are changing and the surroundings are also changing. My house used to be out in the country, but now it is in the city limits. In fact, when I look at Google Earth, the house is no longer standing. A business next to an apartment complex occupy the spot now. The orange grove across the road is now a golf course and the dirt road is now paved. I hate to think of what it looks like to drive by the old home place now.
I think now of the people in the Paradise, California area who are still sifting through their properties trying to find something salvageable due to the fires in that area. It is heart-breaking to think of what they are going through right now. Not only were homes lost but over 85 lives were lost due to the fire. Years of memories have literally gone up in smoke.
Now imagine how you would feel if you returned home to find everything burned to the ground. What feelings go through your mind? Are you angry, sad, grief-stricken, overwhelmed, or what? Going back home for these folks takes on a whole new meaning.
As I’m preparing my Sunday School lesson, these thoughts are running through my mind. Jacob was instructed to go back home after living and working for his father-in-law Laban for 20 years. God had blessed him with wives and children. These folks had never been to Canaan where Jacob was raised. But, because God told Jacob to go back home, he talked about it with his wives, Rachel and Leah, and they agreed to go.
Jacob had realized back in Bethel that God was there with him. Now he realizes that God will be with him even when he goes back to Canaan. There were plenty of unknowns he would face. Would his brother Esau kill him or would he accept him. To me the important thing to remember is that God is with him. That, in itself, would be good enough for me, as it was for Jacob.