Sojourn, what is it? It sounds synonymous with the word journey.
I am so glad I googled it and found the answer.
Sojourn is a short stay somewhere; to reside somewhere temporarily, especially as a guest or lodger.
Journey means a set amount of traveling seen as a single unit.
Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, sojourned to Moab for safety for their family. There was a famine in Judah. Ten years wasn’t a “short stay” but it wasn’t permanent. Maybe it was self-protection. Maybe it was God’s protection but the Bible tells us it was a sojourn.*
It’s just now I’m realizing, I sojourned as a child into co-dependency. Mine was a sojourn of self-protection. I was desperately trying to feel good about myself. Was (or is) self-protection bad? Did Elimelech and Naomi make a bad choice by leaving Judah and going to Moab? Were they self-protecting? Did God use it?
But there came a time when Naomi heard God was blessing the people in Judah and realized that the “short stay” – sojourn was over and it was time to return to her roots, family, country, and God.** Was God in the returning? But was He in the sojourn from the beginning?
My sojourn into codependency lasted much longer than Naomi’s stay in Moab. But in similar ways, I heard of God’s work in lives. Although co-dependency offered a “safe place” for me to hide and find value and favor, it wasn’t a place of true freedom.
Scripture doesn’t use the word sojourn for Naomi’s trip home to Judah. Naomi returned. She returned to the place of God’s kind intention.
Similarly, hearing of others freedom, I, too, returned - to the truth of my identity in Christ. It’s a place of freedom to be me - the “me” God created me to be. He’s provided a safe place for me ~ tucked under His wing.*** He’s given me value and favor apart from performance and doing it right. He’s given me value and His favor apart from any circumstance, person or persons.
I’m asking Jesus if sojourns are often rabbit trails. Do we take self-protecting rabbit trails when we don’t sense His protection or better yet, trust His protection? Maybe so…
But, hooray, doesn't God use even rabbit trails for His purposes? No matter the sojourn, His purpose or ours, I’m keenly aware He uses every part of it to teach us, to refine us, and to bless us.
On our sojourn, we are never, never without His kind intention. Always present, He is!!!!
** Ruth 1:6 NIV
*** Psalm 91:4 NIV
A short note from Lisa:
Ruth has been studying through this book, Untangling Relationships by Pat Springle, along with a friend/mentor. If you are asking about co-dependency (what is it?) or looking for a resource you might want to check out the book, Untangling Relationships. I know from walking with my friend Ruth, on our journey with Jesus, this has been a valuable resource for her. Similarly, another friend has been reading, Kill the Spider: Get rid of what's really holding you back by Carlos Whittaker. She, a wife, mother and teacher, as well as sister in Christ, has recommended this book for rooting out the lies of the enemy especially related to relationships.
(These are simply suggestions. Ask Jesus what He thinks about checking out one or both books. I gain no financial benefit from recommending these books. )
~ Meet Ruth Snell ~
Ruth Snell is Mother of 3 and Nana to 3. She enjoys walking with Jesus and sharing their journey. She loves tennis, walking, and conversations with friends. She lives in Lilburn, GA with her husband, John.
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