The Time of Our Sojourning in Georgia
When Jacob, as in Jacob one of the patriarchs of Israel, moved to Egypt during the famine, his son Joseph introduced him to Pharaoh. Jacob was already ancient, so Pharaoh asked him how old he was.
Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.” Genesis 47:9-10
Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Pharaoh provided his family a place to settle (Goshen), and Jacob went on about his business.
I read in my ESV Study Bible notes that the Hebrew term that was translated as sojourning indicates that they had no permanent home. This is true of his family. Abraham moved from Mesopotamia, through Haran, down to Israel. He moved many times, as did his grandson Jacob, who died in Egypt.
They were sojourners upon the earth. Land was promised to them, but they didn’t always live in it.
Of course, that made me think of my own situation, as a military wife.
For us, home is not a building of brick or wood. It’s togetherness. No matter where we are, we are home.
Nothing about this life is permanent anyway. I often hear military families who are retiring say that they have found their “forever home,” or they are moving into their forever home.
What they mean is that they are finally settling down and putting roots down to stay, perhaps until they die.
That sounds so horribly permanent, doesn’t it? Digging your hole and staying there until you die?
And yet, sometimes I long for it. I long for the white picket fence and the sold sign in the yard, to meet people and allow myself to believe that I will still know them in 30 years.
But our lifestyle continually reminds me that I am but a sojourner here upon the earth. I have no forever home here, and even if I do one day, a great many years will already have been spent in too many other homes to count.
That’s not a terrible thing. It’s exciting and promising to know that life is an adventure. What a journey. I may be in the South wishing for snow this winter, but next Christmas I may be whining about the freezing cold, dreaming of moving back to my ancestral land of Alabama.
There might be a chance that we could move somewhere we’ve lived before and meet up with friends we love, friends we don’t have to start at square one, “Hi, my name is April,” with but instead can go straight to, “How’s your dad doing now? Let’s have a barbecue this weekend!”
The time of our sojourning in Georgia draws to a close. We have filled out our preference list, submitted recommendations from Alan’s people, and we await new orders.
Endless possibilities await. Will we stay down here? Will we return to our old Virginia stomping grounds? Or will it be somewhere new altogether? Where does the military need us next?
I have no idea, but I trust it to God’s hands. I sneak in looks at rental houses in areas I’d like to go and balk over the prices. Daydreaming will be done in abundance.
I hope once I near the end of this life I will not say that the days of my sojourning were few or evil, as Jacob said. Okay, well, by Jacob’s standards I can tell you my days will be few. He lived to be 147, but so far I can say with relief that the days of my sojourning have certainly not been evil.
The Lord has always been with me, and I know that he always will be, no matter where the journey leads.