After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland” (Genesis 30:25 NIV).
Have you ever felt that it is time to move? Possibly yes. Jacob also felt so at one time. But the important thing to note here is a status change which made him feel that way. It is described thus: “After Rachel gave birth to Joseph.” That word “after” is pregnant with significance. Not only was it true for Jacob, it could be true for you too.
First of all, here was an answer to prayer. Rachel, though loved by Jacob, was barren. She cried out to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die.” Jacob was angry with her and told her that God had closed up her womb. So she gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob as a wife and had two sons by her. But later God remembered Rachel and her cry and opened her womb and gave her Joseph. This answered prayer was some sort of indicator for Jacob to start thinking about going home to his native land. Remember, God stirs your heart “like an eagle that stirs up its nest.” This unrest probably came to Jacob after the answer to a long-awaited prayer came. He can stir your heart too after some significant answer to prayer. Then it might indicate that it is time to move.
Secondly, the event in itself could be part of a larger plan and purpose of God which you may not fully realize. So, what was significant here from God’s view? Of course, the birth of Joseph. He was the key player who would help sustain a family in famine and thus lay the foundations for the people of Israel to become a powerful people while in the land of Egypt. So when Joseph was born, God caused Jacob to think of moving. This timing of events was important to God and His plan. Jacob might never have known about it then. But we know it today because we know the rest of the story. The point is that when God stirs your heart “after” something significant has happened, know that He is working out some larger purposes which you may not be aware of now.