The Pressure to Leave and the Grace to Return
Pressure has a way of pushing people around. In response to pressures, many people have found themselves where they never planned.
The pressure of famine moved Jacob and his entire family from the Promised Land to Egypt (Genesis 46:18).
Many generations later, another famine pushed a man named Elimelek into a foreign land (Ruth Chapter 1).
In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke Chapter 15), self-imposed pressure forced the prodigal son out of his father's house.
The problem with pressure
Pressure can trigger the move, but it certainly cannot sustain it.
When Jacob's family settled in Egypt, the good time only lasted as long as Joseph lived. When Joseph died, things began to shift to their disadvantage.
For Elimelek and his family, good times quickly became a nightmare and a cocktail of calamities ensued. The family as it was would never be the same.
And for the prodigal son, the decline was rapid as soon as he squandered his inheritance.
But the prodigal son is a man to emulate (wait for it).
Time for a reset
Sometimes, the pressure to move could have been valid or perhaps necessary. It certainly was so in the case of Jacob and Elimelek.
But things could go terribly wrong if a stop-over becomes a permanent address.
In both instances involving Jacob and Elimelek, the families overstayed in their place of temporary refuge. Jacob's family stayed until they became slaves. Elimelek's wife was left widowed and childless.
They didn't even notice when the adverse situation back home had reversed for good.
In some situations, your best move could be a U-turn.
This could be an easy decision if you approach it mindfully. It takes a level of wisdom that comes with humility to know when to turn back.
This is why the prodigal son is a great role model for what to do when your mistake or error of judgment lands you in rough places.
As soon as the prodigal son realized he had fallen from grace, he decided to go back to his father.
Here is the good news for anyone who has been traveling in the opposite direction - away from God.
The Father is always ready to roll out the red carpet for returnee sons and daughters. It doesn't matter why you left and for how long you've been gone.
The blood of Jesus has guaranteed your restoration and acceptance. You are free to walk right back to God's loving embrace.
Where are you?
Maybe you used to know and love God but now wandering alone in the dark places of the earth, completely disconnected from your divine source. Or perhaps, you've never had anything to do with God.
Whatever it is, don't remain a stranger to your Maker and Father.
Where are you? And where would you rather be?
Don't remain in captivity and servitude when liberty beckons. The Father is waiting for you - arms wide open, with the red carpet rolled out, just for you.
Welcome back home!
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