Friday, August 21st
We saw yesterday that the reality of being in a full blown "in between" place in his life had come upon Jacob. However, his focus has shifted away from "the door of what has been" to the obstacle that is in front of him in regard to "the door of what will be." Jacob has received the report of his messengers, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!” The passage went on to say, "Jacob was terrified at the news." God had told Jacob to leave Laban and the land that had been his home for twenty years and to return to the homeland of his father (Isaac), grandfather (Abraham), and other relatives. He has made the transition away from "the door of what has been." That is a closed door and a done deal. But now, getting to what he has so far thought of as "the door of what will be," seems impossible for the moment because of his brother.
Can you relate to this scenario? We may not have been given direction from God in advance like was so clearly given to Jacob. However, we all know what it's like to sense that God is unfolding his will for our lives and is moving us toward a very specific "door." The closer we get to what seems like an open door, the harder it hits us when things happen that make it seem like the door is shutting. This is what is happening to Jacob and yet he wisely moves his focus away from the situation at hand and onto God. Evidently, Jacob remembers that when God instructed him to return to his homeland, he said, "I will be with you.” According to our passage for today, Jacob turns to God in prayer.
O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. But you promised me, "I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.” Genesis 32:11-12
What a great approach Jacob gives to us for handling situations like this that come into our lives. Jacob has been hit hard by the circumstance that confronts him and to his credit he takes the spiritual route. Jacob seeks God's presence, speaks authentically to God about how he view things, and recounts the faithful promises made to him by God in the past. We will see tomorrow that this approach by Jacob keeps him from faltering and allows him to handle the struggles of the "in between" in a victorious way.
Lord, you truly are the God of the "in between." I confess that wanting to be out of the "in between" is a desire that runs deep within me. Please continue to transform me into one in whom the reality of your presence runs deeper. Help me to be one who simply wants to be wherever you want me to be, regardless of the obstacles. Help me to be focused on you so that I am peaceful and contented, not matter what. Lord, I choose to rest securely in your arms of love and grace. Amen!
Posted on Fri, August 21, 2015
by Alan Porter