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Good Riddance

Finding our way to God's place of blessing

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"Isn't there somewhere else you're supposed to be?" Has God ever said that to you? God seems to be saying that a lot around here lately. He has said it to at least four people I can think of who have been forced to look for other jobs. He has said it to a fellow I know whose health problems necessitated his retirement before he expected. He said it to someone I know who has been forced to take on heavy responsibilities she never expected. "Isn't there somewhere else you're supposed to be?"—sooner or later God says that to everyone who follows him. He says it about their circumstances or relationships or even just the geography of the heart.

Going where you're supposed to be—the place of God's blessing

When we last left Jacob, that's what God had said to him. Jacob had spent 20 years far from his home, hiding from the anger of his brother, Esau. All those years he had worked for his shifty uncle, Laban. Jacob had loved only one woman, Rachel, but had been tricked into marrying both Rachel and her sister, Leah (along with their two maidservants). They had borne him 11 sons and a daughter—part of God's promised blessing. Then God had blessed Jacob with prosperity—in spite of Laban's efforts to outfox and swindle Jacob. But now God said to Jacob, "Isn't there somewhere else you're supposed to be?"

It is time for Jacob to leave Padam Aram and return to Canaan, the land of his father, Isaac, and grandfather, Abraham—the land God had promised to him. In that life-changing dream Jacob had of the stairway to heaven, God had promised that he would bring Jacob back to that land, and in today's text, it is time. There is somewhere else Jacob was supposed to be.

God will make it clear when it is ...

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Lee Eclov is pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire in Lake Forest, Illinois and author of Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers). Eclov also leads a gathering of pastors for mutual support and learning called Pastors' Gatherings. To find out more about these Gatherings visit his site www.leeeclov.com.

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