“You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. Exodus 23:9
properly, a guest; by implication, a foreigner:—alien, sojourner, stranger
a person living out of his own country
foreign shepherds, nomadic tribes wandering about in the land
I have been a wanderer much of my life. I was born into a Navy family, Daddy being a Navy doctor and officer. We changed duty stations about every two to four years, but he died early in life. By the age of thirteen, I was no longer a traveler via the United States Navy.
But my mother loved to travel. She packed us onto a train one Christmas to spend the holiday with her family in Chicago. When we moved away from the Washington, D.C. area after Daddy died, she took about six weeks to go from the nation’s capitol to San Diego, California. We stopped to visit friends and family and to see just about every sight she could find along the route. Many Fridays after school, she would tell us kids, “Pack a suitcase because we are going to ….” (wherever she had decided to go for the weekend) and we did!
Even in college, I was blessed with one whole semester aboard World Campus Afloat (now called Semester at Sea), traveling from port to port – South America, Africa, and Europe. What an experience, gaining 14 college credit hours!
I became an adult and that wanderlust was still there. I settled down for wee bits of time, but found new jobs, moved to where I would want to be or transferred and then I would find a teaching job (or something new). Mom had told me, before college, that I would always be able to find a teaching job if I would go to college to become a teacher. I did and found her wisdom was almost always true!
I have sojourned hither and yon. I was a stranger or a guest most everywhere I went, at least for a time.
The LORD watches over the sojourners;
He upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin. Psalm 146:9
Then one day, 23+ years ago, I came to know Christ Jesus. I found that my heart had a home. My heart belonged to Him and I would travel this earth as a sojourner, a pilgrim, yet had a real Home in Heaven. I may wander more on this earth, in this life. As long as I stay close to Jesus, I will not feel as an alien. I am by His side and know my true Home.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1
Abram left his home and sojourned in many countries among many peoples.
Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the Name of the LORD. Genesis 12:7-8
Abram built altars in remembrance of all that God was doing for him and his descendants, for the covenants He made with Abram, for guidance as God took them from place to place.
“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities.” Jeremiah 31:21
What kind of road markers, guideposts am I leaving to remind me of what God has done in my life?
- my salvation – God blessed me with forgiveness and a new life in Christ. I built a written altar in my journal along with the date of this momentous event. I praise God for my salvation.
- marriage to Kenneth, the husband God gave to me – I have a written altar of this beautiful date, a marriage license as well as the life he and I have built together. We try to live as an altar unto God.
- blessed me with parents who loved me; allowed me to care for my mother in her last fifteen years – another written guidepost, one which I have been blessed to share through Being Woven as well; my journal of many days throughout those years filled with the sweet memories of Mama. The hard times are written there and are important too.
- sisters who are caring and loving toward me – Thank You, LORD. – my road mark is the love we share now, along with the memories through words and pictures, road markers in my mind and heart of when we were children together.
- and many, many more!
Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not Thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with Thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. Psalm 39:12
Father God, Thank You for dwelling with me as I journey through this world. Each day is new as I listen for Your voice. Thank You for directing me from one place to the next. I pray that I am aware of Your nearness, LORD. Thank You for comforting me, for guiding me, for loving me. Build my strength each day, Father, so that I may walk in obedience and humbly. Thank You for Your Presence in my life. I love You so. I am a sojourner. Yes, I was born in the country in which I live, but anywhere on this earth is not my true home. With You, in Heaven, …my real and only Home. Thank You LORD. I pray in the Name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.