by Patricia Narjala on Youversion
We’ve all been in the waiting room of life.
We’ve waited for the medical report, sometimes for weeks on end as doctors figured out diagnoses.
We’ve waited for jobs and financial breakthroughs, wondering how we’ll pay the next mortgage or make it through the next month.
We’ve waited for admissions to colleges, asking ourselves if we have what it takes.
We’ve waited for relationships to be reconciled, wondering if broken fences will ever be mended.
We’ve waited for a child, perhaps as fertility treatments failed, wondering if we can go through the emotional agony of hope and disappointment again.
There’s an uncertainty that weaves itself through the waiting.
In our reading today we saw Jacob waiting to meet his estranged brother, Esau. They had parted on hostile terms, with Esau vowing to kill Jacob for his deceptive actions that robbed him of his inheritance and his birthright.
But twenty years on, Jacob wants to make amends with his brother.
Would his once-angry brother still be vengeful?
Jacob’s uncertainty gives way to full-fledged fear. He starts concocting imaginary “What if” scenarios in his mind. Genesis 32: 7 says that
“In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.””
But in the midst of his “great fear and distress,” he does a marvelous thing—Jacob turns to God in prayer. He proclaims who God is, he acknowledges what God has done for him, he confesses his fears to God, and he remembers God’s promises to him.
Later that night, there unfolds a powerful yet poignant scene as God meets with Jacob in a wrestling contest. In that intimate encounter with God, Jacob, although injured, receives a new name and a blessing. The next morning, Jacob walks with a limp into the embrace of his brother Esau.
In the face of your uncertain situation, when you feel the ground underneath you shift, turn to God in prayer as Jacob did. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and He will lift you up in due time. Stay locked into Jesus. Don’t let go of Him. Persevere in prayer. Your circumstances may not always change. But God will arm you with the courage to walk with a dependence on Him and a boldness that comes from Him.
Then Jacob prayed, “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 Jordan, but now I have become two camps. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’ ”Genesis 32:9-12
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.Psalm 16:5-6
Father God, The fear of the unknown can leave me paralyzed. Often, I tend to create stories in my mind of what lies ahead. I tend to magnify my problems and my circumstances. Lord, I pray that, instead, I would magnify You as You are sovereign over all my circumstances. You are the all-powerful God who engages with me, who strengthens me, who gives me the courage to walk with boldness into uncertain and fearful situations. The ground may be shaky, but I know I can trust my God, the Rock who was cleft for me. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.