She is usually the go-with-the-flow child. The comfortable in most situations child. But when Olivia gets uncomfortable she comes and sits next to me. She will then tell anyone who tries to play with her that she just wants to sit by her mom.
This year we put her in camp, and usually, she likes to be with her friends and runs into excitement in her class each day. She will hug her teacher, with a big smile on her face.
But when I dropped her off at camp the first time, she looked really unsure. Almost uncomfortable.
I guess she trusted me enough to go in when I told her that she would have a good time, even as she sat down and looked unsure of what the day may hold.
Trust: A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of something or someone
Trust. It is kind of a funny thing right? Trust when you can not see. Or when everything seems new and different, and the outcome you desire isn’t exactly guaranteed.
Maybe you feel like you are in a room that you have never been in before, with your mother telling you to have a good day, but wondering if everything is going to turn out okay.
Or, God leads you to the unknown, and you are completely unsure how things are going to turn out. Your strength is turned to weakness, and you have no choice but to have faith and trust Him, and cling to the promise that He will work all things for the good of those who love Him?
Been there. Done that. And eventually designed the t-shirt that says “There is hope”.
Let us take a look at Jacob for a second. He didn’t exactly live an honorable life. He lied, manipulated, and cheated his brother out of his God-given birthright. And by that I mean he dressed up in Esau’s clothes to have his brother’s scent on him, and his mom dressed his hands and neck with goatskin so that he would appear to be hairy like Esau.
(The Bible is not boring my friends)
He basically had no reason to believe that God would be for him, or with Him, or eventually bless him.
And out of fear of his brother’s anger towards him, he runs away to the land his uncle Laban lives. He falls in love with Laban’s daughter Rachel, gets tricked into marrying her older sister Leah, builds a life there, and has a bunch of children (that is another story).
Years later God leads him to go back to his homeland and promises him He will be with him and he will have a fruitful life. But just because God promised this, doesn’t mean that Jacob just had faith that God would work it all out.
Faith: Complete trust or confidence in something or someone.
He had a lot of fear of what Esau would do when he heard he was coming back. He sent his messengers ahead of him so that he could hopefully find favor in the eyes of his brother. And in response is told that Esau was coming to meet him along with 400 men.
And Jacob did what any normal human would do. Even though God had continually assured that He would be with him, Jacob prepared for the worst and begged God for the best. And by prepare I mean, he prepared by means of human strength. He divides his people, herds, and flocks as well in 2. That way in case one group perished, the other may survive.
And out of fear and distress that Esau would attack, He prayed to the God who he knew he was unworthy to serve. Then sent gifts ahead of him in hopes to appease his brother.
Let me just say quick, sometimes God will give you a really detailed plan on how to move forward. Like when Noah built the ark, or when King Solomon undertook plans for building the temple. Exact. Details.
The 3 Precious Words…That We Don’t Like
And these types of plans are my favorite! But these are not the types of plans that God gives us a lot of the time. A lot of the time we will just be left with the assurance that He will be with us. And with that we can only do one thing. Just. Have. Faith.
And that is what happens here.
Back to the story. During the night, he was left alone and ends up wrestling with a man (who ends up being God). The man realized he could not defeat him, and strikes his hip and dislocates it. He then demands that God blesses him.
He probably doesn’t expect God to ask him what his name is, and then change it.
And it is changed because Jacob prevailed.
I have never noticed this before, or kind of maybe glossed over it, but when Jacob was wrestling with God… God didn’t just “bless him” like he demanded and change his name. He took away his human strength, so that he could rely on nothing more than God, Himself.
God will take away the things we rely on, more than we rely on just Him.
I have been here friends. Uncomfortable with what may lie ahead.
Was my mountain a spec of sand compared to what Jacob faced? Yup.
Is Faith Enough?
But I will tell you that God’s plans for our lives work much better when we come to Him in the complete faith that He alone is able. When our insecurities, and fears, and doubts, and strengths and weaknesses are set aside because we know the God who calls us to step out of the boat called “comfort” so we can keep our eyes on Him and walk on water.
Please hear what I am not saying. I am not saying that God won’t work because of shortcomings. He will. He is God.
What I am saying is that faith is enough. Faith is more than enough because we have a God who is holy, and sees beyond today. He sees beyond our circumstances and our fears.
We serve the God who goes before us, and who is with us.
We can do what He says, as He says. Nothing more. Nothing Less. His word stands firm, and is more than enough. His promise is more than enough.
When He says to go do A, B, C, X, Y, and Z… you can trust His plans. And when He says to go back to your homeland and He will be with you, you can trust His assurance. You can take every step in complete faith that He has gone before you, and He is with you.
What happened next?
God was faithful. That is what happened next. Jacob approached Esau and bowed to the ground 7 times as a sign of respect.
Esau ran to meet him. Hugged him. Threw his arms around him. And. They. Wept.
Jacob was met with God’s faithfulness. And this isn’t the end of Jacob’s story. He trusted God, he walked in faith, and God’s promise was true. He was fruitful as promised, and the 12 tribes of Israel stemmed from his bloodline.
As for us, we will be met with God’s faithfulness as well when we walk in faith. We don’t need to worry or wrestle or add more to God’s plan than He asks of us. We just need to have faith.