Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.Luke 22:42
Jacob and his ten sons stand reunited in a land of famine, wrapped in a swirling tempest of fear, blame, scarcity, accusation, and confusion. It is all too much: the report of a harsh Egyptian overlord, the silver in the sacks, the memory of losing Joseph, the loss of Simeon, the possibility of losing Benjamin. Jacob’s feelings fit into one short phrase: “Everything is against me.”
Reuben, knowing they will eventually need more grain, is willing to risk the lives of his own two sons in an attempt to secure his father’s trust, but Jacob’s response is unequivocal: “My son will NOT go down there with you.” His reasoning? “If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.” He cannot bear it. The suffering would be too great. Benjamin must remain at home.
Weeks later, though, when the grain runs out, Jacob changes his mind. He sends the brothers back to Egypt along with the best produce of the land as a gift, twice the silver, and his cherished Benjamin. He truly hopes the trip will go well: “May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you.” But somehow he has fully accepted that it may not go well at all: “As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.” (Genesis 43:14)
Jacob had a change of heart. His rigid “no” gave way to a gentle “yes.” He found a way to bear the possibility of unbearable suffering and in doing so he walked ahead of Jesus on that path towards those seven life-changing words: “not my will but thine be done”.
Today I will think about that path.
Eileen Porterfield says
Oh yes Corina, trusting God for everything is what our good God wants us each to develop. We know that God is in control and that His plan is for our good even though sometimes it doesn’t feel good in the situation we are going through. Our personal experience is sometimes heart wrenching like Jacob’s was. And we have many questions to which we don’t find immediate answers. We have to personally experience various situations and recognize God’s presence with us through it. We ask for His guidance and strength to endure and press on. In that process we lose some of what we have/want in this life to gain what God wants to give us. There is for us a peace that passes all understanding when we see what God has done and is doing in each of us as we strive to more closely follow Jesus.
Yes. The ideas here that hit home the most for me are loss and peace. There is sometimes so much wrestling before we find that any peace.
Excellent thought, Corina, and one so hard to grab a hold of. When you think you can’t handle anything more, God seems to challenge you to more.
Yes. That seems to be what happens. Your comment reminded me of a quote I read years ago: “God will never lead you where his grace cannot keep you.” It also makes me think of Psalm 46:18 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”