Facing the Challenges Ahead
Posted: Monday, January 15
Verse of the day:
“He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban, and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’” (Genesis 32:4-5)
Jacob had ran away. He was a runner. When things got too hard or too much he ran. As frustration with his father in law Laban grew, Jacob was ready to run again. This time he would choose to run home. God had told him to return to the land of his father. So he had to make the choice to return.
However, this was no easy choice. First he would have to break ties with his father in law who had shown himself to be a shrewd business man and someone that was Jacob’s equal in deception. Secondly, Jacob had to prepare to meet his brother, Esau, and the wrath that Esau had been storing up for him during his exile. It took great courage to face the unknown of breaking relationship with his father in law and facing the unknown response of his brother. However, in verse 9-12, we see the prayer that Jacob offers to God to remind him that he would be a blessed nation, as a descendant of Abraham and Isaac.
There was one encounter that he was not prepared for. Not only did he have to confront Laban and Esau, but one night he would also have to wrestle with God. Upon returning to the land of promise, Jacob would have to wrestle with the God of his fathers. The choice to turn back and return home was the choice to face the challenges ahead. He would wrestle with God and though he was not victorious, he was not defeated either. He held on to receive the blessing from God.
What challenges are ahead for you? If you can conquer the war of fear and worry, you may find that the challenges are not as dangerous as you first thought. Just as God spoke to Laban on Jacob’s behalf, if God has called you to move in a certain way, he will prepare things for you. Just as God had changed the heart of Esau, God prepared Jacob for a great and joyful reunion. Each challenge brought with it both work (Jacob negotiated a treaty with Laban, wrestled with God and prepared an envoy with gifts for Esau), joy and blessing.
Prepare yourself to follow God in all his ways. When that call directs you to repair a broken relationship, move from a present place of comfort towards a future blessing or other challenges, don’t be afraid to step out in faith. As we face the challenges ahead, we will move forward in the process of discovering and becoming who God has created us to be.