Go South To Get North

I used to see bumper stickers reading “God is my Co-Pilot”. One of my youth staff had this on their beater of a car. Besides the fact it is cheesy Christian stuff, there is truth in this.

Genesis shows us one of these incidents. Jacob wanted to fulfill God’s plan for him in the land of Israel. But famine struck and in order to survive he needed to go south.

He did not want to go south to Egypt. He wanted to go north to the land which God promises to his ancestors.

But God’s plan involved going south, to eat the food his son Joseph had stored up in Egypt, so in the future the 12 sons could go north to their destiny.

Go South to Get North.

Jeremiah 29 gives us another one of these unexpected maps. The verse we all know and love is verse 11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

But we often forget what needed to occur first for this to happen. Verse 10 says, “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.”

Judah was going into captivity in the hands of their enemies for 70 years! Then, and only then, the future hope and good which was predicted would arrive!

No one puts verse 10 on an encouragement card!

Seeing our dreams fulfilled often includes going the opposite direction for a season. We all hope and pray this is not a 70 year journey! But one which covers a shorter time span can prove equally challenging.

###How many times do we end up doing something which makes no sense?


When we faithfully do it in obedience, we see how God took us to the destination He desired.

Direction in life is not always a straight street, it is a windy path with detours and alterations.

Many of us will not need to go to captivity for 70 years to get there, but we may need to wait a year or even five.

These passages challenge us to do two things to see our dreams reached:
1. Obey
2. Endure

These are neither easy nor logical. We are often tempted to quit or to make our own plan; ordering our own steps.

Reflect back on your life for a moment. What destinations would you have never traveled to if you had neither obeyed nor endured?

How many times has God said “Go South to get North”?

Maybe we need to go looking for some old Co-Pilot bumper stickers.

Why is it difficult for us to belief in the hard times God is working for our good?