We all have difficult situations to face. Like Jacob, it could be some family situation or a relative with whom we have had a falling out. Or it could be some work situation, a boss, subordinate or coworker where there are tensions. The list goes on and on. Where people connect, tensions happen J.
Jacob faced just such a situation with his brother Esau. Twenty years ago Jacob swindled his brother out of his birthright as oldest son. Jacob fled because his bother pledged to kill him. They haven’t met since then. Now believing God has sent him home, Jacob must face his brother. And Jacob does two things that strike me as wise.
One, he thinks through the meeting, deciding what in his power he can do to assuage Esau’s anger. Truth is Jacob doesn’t know what his brother will be like, but it is reasonable that Esau might still be angry. Jacob attempts to minimize the anger with gifts. No one knows if this will work, but it is a reasonable approach.
Second, he prays. And Jacob prays more than a little pop, “help me God prayer.” It is heartfelt and honest, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this
Jacob’s wrestling with God was emotional and physical. I have never physically wrestled with God, but I have struggled with God and God’s will…
Stepping back I see Jacob marshaling everything he has as he confronts his difficult problem.
He thinks it through and he prays it through.
He offers his best and seeks God’s best…
In Jacob I see the wonder of a well-tackled issue. He owns his responsibility… “God isn’t a get out of jail free card” but he also understands that God’s hand can move things not even the best human wisdom can move.
Brilliant, and faith-filled, that’s how I would sum up Jacob’s handling of this DIFFICULT situation.
Lord, I pray for this kind of personal honesty and utter dependence when I have my own difficult situations to face. Taking responsibility plus trusting and following You. That, Lord, is a blessed life model. May I learn it and use it. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.