Jacob as a sympathetic figure? Most of us aren’t likely to really believe that. However, if we look closer at his story, we find that he went through a season where it really felt like he was reaping what he had sown in deception. Where was the blessing? Good ole Dad had blessed him instead of his brother by some well-formed trickeration. In our minds, Jacob should have been good, right? Cause the blessing would immediately reveal itself and Jacob would be in the money. However, we find him working for his uncle, Laban, who is as much a “Jacob” as Jacob is. Some might say that he invented the “Jacob”. I mean, guys, how would you feel if your future father-in-law switched daughters with you on your wedding night? And then made you work off the debt doubly? What a season. Absolutely horrible.
But what we learn from the life of Jacob in this difficult season is that even in seasons where we feel lost and forgotten, seasons where we think that God has surely forgotten us, that His promises have fallen by the wayside, there are still opportunities for us to realize His faithfulness.
I imagine Jacob tilling the rocky soil at Laban’s singing Elevation Church’s song “Do it Again”, almost bemoaning his fate here. I’m sure that he was thinking about how his life had lead to this point. 2 wives, when he really only wanted one. Laban has him doing all kinds of work, and I’m sure that Laban was just waiting on Jacob to fail so that he could heap even more work on him, but Jacob was smart. And he believed God. And even during these difficult times, God proved faithful time and time again. In the midst of a hard season, Jacob grew from a boy into a man. I believe it was this time in his life that prepared him to meet Esau after leaving Laban. Jacob prospered. He prospered Laban, and God prospered Jacob. Jacob worked hard, and God honored his efforts.
What is the lesson for us?
It’s simple. Quit embracing the escape mentality. No matter what season you are in, quit running. if you keep trying to run from one season into a better season, you won’t be able to handle that comes your way in that season! We go through seasons for a purpose. We have to have the perspective to grow in the season. it is not enough to promise to grow after that season is already done because then we will have missed the entire point of what we found ourselves in. And that is a major problem. We have to steward the environment we find ourselves in. There is always a silver lining. There is always a test to be passed. A challenge to be overcome. And when we start embracing those challenges instead of allowing them to whip us into submission, then no matter what season we go through, we are equipped to thrive! And that is God’s intention. It’s not simply that we find success when the situation is amenable to success. It is that we find success and conquer because that is who we are at our core. It is who God created us to be!
Have the resolve that you will overcome any season not by running away from it. Stand up. Turn around. Face your challenges. Stare your bad season in the face and embrace what it is trying to teach you. Embrace what God wishes to do for you in that season. Commit to growing IN the season, and now when you come out of it.
I’m convinced that this is important stuff. I’m also convinced that it is for me as well as anyone who reads this.
The mark of a mature Christian is that he or she has the foresight and perspective to win, no matter the circumstances! No matter the season. No matter the obstacles. In Christ, all we do is WIN, because Christ WON!
And when we get this accurate view of ourselves, well….
watch what happens next.