Today, I was reading in Genesis 11, and something was highlighted to me in verses 27-32.
The Bible says that Terah at 70 years became a father and had three sons: Abram (later named Abraham), Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot. While Terah was still alive, his son, Haran died.
Then the Bible says that Terah took Abram, Lot, and Sarai (later named Sarah), and together they set out for Canaan (what we know as the Promised Land).
Now here is what I want you to see:
“But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years and he died in Haran.” That means that if we subtract his original age of 70 from 205, they stayed in Haran 135 years give or take based on the exact date of when they started their journey. Nonetheless, they stayed in Haran a long tome. My Bible commentary says “years wasted at Haran”.
Do you see it? Haran was a place, but Haran was also the name of his son who died. How many people do we know who have gotten stuck in the place where something or someone died? When have you personally been stuck in a place where something or someone died?
Your child died. Your spouse died. Your marriage died. Your career died. Your relationship/friendship died. Your virginity died. Your innocence died. And you get so stuck in that place, and feel as though you can’t leave.
To leave may feel like I am leaving the person, leaving the hope of restoration, leaving the possibilities, leaving the hope of reconciliation, leaving the hope of healing. And so we sit down. We settle in. We make our home there. And we remain stuck for a long time.
And yet, the Lord HAD said (past tense...a long time ago) to Abram, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” God makes a promise to Abram that when he goes, God will bless him and he will be a blessing. And so Abram left Haran (at 75 years old...so he stayed in Haran a long time) and made it to the Promised Land of Canaan.
Oh, Beloved of God, you cannot allow yourself to be like Terah, getting stuck in your pain. Stuck in the death. You can’t settle for “that’s the end of my future”. You can’t make what happened your identity. You cannot quit on life because of the death you experienced. Oh, what time is wasted.
God has a promised land for you filled with purpose and the fruit of the Spirit. If you know Him as Savior and Lord, you have His favor! He has SO much to give you! He wants to bless you so that you will be a blessing to others! BUT, you have to trust Him leave as the Lord tells you. Leave your “Haran”, a place of pain, and head to your Canaan, a place of blessing!
Listen, some of your family might choose to stay in Haran, like Terah. Some will stay in their grief and never leave. God may even be calling you into deeper relationship with Him, and your family members will say that going deeper and higher is too much for them and they will stay right where they are. You will be tempted, for fear of rejection, to stay where you are spiritually and settle, when God has so much more. Your promised land is just around the corner but your pain, your past, and your parents (family) want to hold you back from the more God has for you.
So, how do you do it? How do you leave?
For some, it might be as simple as heading in that direction. For some, the emotional and relational connection is difficult.
So I approach things that this in a very spiritual way that then effects the emotional, mental and relational. Maybe what I did might help you.
I sat back and closed my eyes and envisioned the place where my pain began. I could see it so vividly! As I am standing there looking around, I see Jesus. He is standing there beside me. I felt like a child. A little girl in need of a Daddy. He said to me, “Jena-Bug (my nickname as a child), it’s time to go. It’s time to leave this place. There’s so much more, but you need to pack your bags and follow Me." So I began packing the lovely memories, all the good, all the blessings of people and possessions I had, into a suitcase. Then, I took Jesus by the hand and I envisioned us walking down this long wall...like a side of a house. When I came to the end of it, Jesus said, “We are about to turn a corner, and you won’t be able to see behind you anymore. But it’s going to be okay because of what’s around this corner that so outweighs anything behind you or anything you packed.” So, somewhat sad and reluctant, and yet filled with wonder and excitement, I turned the corner with Jesus. And there, there was GOD. Arms opened, ready to embrace me and bless me beyond my beyond. I have never felt so safe, so loved, and so protected. That intimacy I felt that day is my promised land. The presence of God with me, in me, beside me. That place is where I belong and where I seek to stay every day of my life.
So may I encourage you, Beloved of God, to leave your Haran and head toward your Promised Land. It is beautiful and full of blessing. 💙
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