Have you ever found yourself around people who require a lot from you? Maybe in workplace, school, church, community; people have this way they view you. It’s worse when you have huge shoes to fill. Grandma raised the bar, then dad took the bar higher. Now when people see you, they don’t just see you but they see the son/daughter of that grandma or papa.
I sure know this feeling. I grew up in church. We were church kids. Whenever my friends came over, they used to say they love my family because of the love and warmth they feel whenever they come around. However they always said we go to church too much! Whenever the church door was opened, we were there; be it early in the morning or late at night. We were not just there, we were active. We had to be! My parents didn’t play. There was nothing like us giving excuses as to why we didn’t want to participate in the children’s choir, or youth choir and youth ministry. Many thought my dad was a pastor because of the way we lived. The expectations others had for us was so high. I lived constantly feeling like I wasn’t going to be able to meet up with those high expectations because I felt I was different.
One thing I love about the bible is that there is always someone who has gone through whatever we are going through. This is what makes it relatable.
Jacob lived this life. His grandpa was Abraham who God declared as His friend. We all know that Abraham’s faith was on a whole different level. I still can’t get my head around how he willingly wanted to sacrifice his only son! His faith was deep hence he is the father of faith. The bible said he had great faith! God spoke with him several times and his relationship with God was deep.
Abraham gave birth to Isaac who was Jacob’s dad. Isaac was another great man of promise. He was humble. He didn’t resist as his father prepared to sacrifice him. He submitted to God’s will for his life. He allowed God guide his life.
Jacob had these patriarch’s shoes to fill. How on earth can a cunny man be the seed of this blessed and prophetic family? Also how can this man who was named deceiver from when he was born meet up with these high standards?
You might be able to relate with this and understand what was going through Jacob’s mind. He wasn’t an outdoorsy man. Back in the days, men were known to be outdoorsy. They go in the field to get meat for food while the women stayed at home. Jacob’s personality didn’t really fit into that of a typical man as it were in his time. Staying at home a lot made him a Mummy’s boy – something the fellas don’t often like being called. Things got even worse when he grabbed his brother’s birthright and blessing. From birth he was a grabber. Genesis 25 tells us that he grabbed his brother’s heel at birth. He got things from behind. He was cunny. He was a deceiver. He was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. What a contrast!
On the other hand, he was pretty good at getting what he wanted. This we saw when he was serving his uncle so he could marry his daughter. Despite all the bad things we know about Jacob, he ended well. God used his weakness for His glory. His life fitted perfectly with the scripture that says “all things works together for good for those who love God!”
Despite I made great mistakes and failed to live up to the bar raised by my parents, God used those mistakes to make something good which I am using to lead and encourage other girls in faith.
God wants you to come to Him just as you are. It’s good to emulate good things from others but God does not want you to become someone else. Not even your father or mother. He wants you to be you. He wanted Jacob to be Jacob. He wanted me to be me.
The story changed when Jacob found out that instead of grabbing on to people and things, it was best he grabbed on to God. In Genesis 32:25-26, we see Jacob holding tight to God. At this point his heart has shifted to what was really important. When Jacob made a move, God touched him. Yes! His past was no longer the subject of conversation. His name was changed to come into alignment with his purpose and destiny. When his name was changed, his life changed. Note that nothing went well until he encountered God! Ah! My life was a mess until I encountered God!
Jacob, now Isaac, started walking on his own path; not on the path of anyone else. And at the end of his life, he was no longer deceiving and grabbing on to things that weren’t his. He was blessing his children as he worshiped God. Jacob became one of the great heroes of faith as recorded in Hebrews 11.
Instead of trying to grab on to the bar set by others, reach out to the bar God had laid for you. That bar has grace acting as a magnet. The more you reach out to that bar (Jesus), the more His grace reaches out to you becomes His strength becomes perfect in your weakness.