VISITING HOME AS AN ADULT
From there he went up to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well. Genesis 26:23-25
Has God spoken to you in the land of your youth? Have you visited your birthplace, prayerfully pondered your beginnings, and tried from an adult’s perspective to discern God’s purposes? Not one detail of your life was a mistake from the vantage point of God’s sovereignty.
Isaac is old. He has traveled far but after all his travels, God promises him spacious and blessed places to settle. What does he do? He goes home to Beersheba, the land of his youth. It is there that God speaks to him. He hears the same blessing that his father heard so many years ago. It is there that he digs another well and finds water.
Going back home to visit is a different experience for each person. While it can be wonderful for one, it can be extremely painful for another. One thing is certain; it reveals whether or not I have made peace with my past. I don’t even have to visit the house where I grew up. (Most can’t do that anyway.) All I have to do is take a day and walk down familiar streets. Memories come flooding back.
Here’s the thing I must embrace as God’s child. There was a blessing for me in my beginnings. God promised to be with me. I can know that in my ‘todays’ but fail to know it as I review my life from a school playground. The promise can be real as I think of my future but vague as I understand His blessing from the memories of my adolescence.
Isaac went home and spent his final years where he began. He found God there. My life, respectively, will have no strong purpose or closure if I can’t make peace with the past. God’s voice can be heard about my childhood but I have to be willing to hear it. Proclamations of love and blessing grate against my heart’s grain if I have yet to discover the treasures of the darkness from days long ago.
You didn’t arrive on the scene halfway through my life and ignore my beginnings. Help me see evidence of your blessing and care in every season of my life. Amen
Journal Question: Still confused? Think of this. Picture sitting as the adult you are now, on the front porch of the home where you lived most of your childhood. God voice clearly comes to you and tells you that He is your God, He is with you, and He will bless you. As you hear this, is your heart at peace because, in retrospect, you can see that this was true? Or do you protest? “Yeah right!”