“Sojourn,” Now here is a word that does not get thrown around much in a conversation, however it shows up in the Bible many times. For example: Genesis 12:9-11 states, “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land,” Judges 17:9, “And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place,” Psalm 105:23, “Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.” When we read these verses we comprehend that a sojourn is a place to stay, to lodge, a stop-over, to live or dwell in a place for a season. Sojourns are temporary, just transitory moments in our lives.
Countless person, places and things in life may be long-term such as staying married to the same spouse, keeping a house in the family, friendships, job etc., of course a few of them may be a sojourn. Many are by choice but as we well know this is not always the case. God ways are not our ways.
Case in point: Years ago I owned a pet grooming business. My husband and I were married for quite a few years and we had no children. We both agreed we were ok with that so off I went to New York to learn how to groom. It wasn’t long after graduation that the Lord put me at the right place at the right time and my business was launched. My plan for my life was to stay in this business until I retired. I’m sure you heard of the old cliché, “Tell God your plans and he laughs at you.” Well this is what happened to me which was a shock since the Lord opened all the doors for this to come to pass, nevertheless it was a sojourn in my life. After 3 years into the business and 11 years of marriage I suspected I was pregnant. I took one of those home pregnancy tests just to put my mind at ease as it just could not be after all these years. When the test came out positive, I actually called the company that made the product to let them know in no uncertain terms their test was wrong. The kind woman on the other end of the line declared, “Honey, if our test gave you a positive result then you are pregnant! Our test may give a false negative result but not a false positive. You need to see a doctor.” I was devastated when a doctor confirmed the results but abortion was not an option. After awhile, my husband and I both had a change of heart and looked forward to our new arrival. Against the advice of some friends and family members I put the business up for sale as I felt lead from the Lord to do so and it was the right decision. I’m delighted to say I took to motherhood like a fish takes to water and I never looked back. Though motherhood isn’t easy, it is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life. The business sojourn taught me to trust the Lord no matter what it looks like. I learned that He really is faithful as well as elated that He showed me His plans are better than mine.
Now let us take a look at the most important sojourn of them all, our time here on earth. Here is how The Message explains it: 1 Peter 2:11 “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” Although it is just a few sentences, it tells us how to live our sojourn on earth. No matter how many years we live, earth is our temporary home. We are just passing through. When we read about heaven in the Bible or hear of one’s encounter, we may long for our sojourn on earth to end. Our life should be filled with the joy of the Lord but it can be very difficult at times, oh come on, let’s be honest, it can downright suck. When we think about being with Jesus for all eternity, those streets of gold, a place where there is no more sorrow and no more tears we almost want to cry out, “Lord take me home.” I certainly have. At the same time, I do not believe we should continuously be longing for our heavenly home as we have a job to do here on earth. We are told in 2 Peter 3:9, “Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” Do you see It? It is the Lord’s desire that no one would perish. We should be co-laboring with the Lord, therefore let us be His witnesses by living lives that will attract the lost to Him. Therefore when the sojourn gets tough the tough get going. Enjoy the sojourns of your life the good and the not so good. Think of it as an adventure. Have faith in the Lord as He is trustworthy.