Genesis 29-37 (Fear and Faith)

“But the God of my father hasn’t changed; he’s still with me”

Wow! I read right over this the first time I read this chapter. It’s just hidden there in the story of jacob. I’ve heard this story so many times as a kid growing up in Sunday school, but this is the first time that I read this verse.

Looking back it’s so easy to try to do things on my own. To think that I have it all figured out. Sometimes things went just as planned. But othertimes it felt like the world was crashing down around me. It’s so easy during these times to feel like you alone. “But the God of my father hasn’t changed; he’s still with me”. And he has seen me through in more ways then I can even imagine. I’m still here and by his strength (whether I admit it or not) I’m still fighting. The thing I’ve noticed is how easy it is so see God in your life when you look back at it, but still how much I doubt in the presant. If only I could open my eyes enough to see God in the now rather then after the fact. But that doesn’t change God. He’s still with me.

Another thing that caught my attention in the passages about Jacobs life is a prayer he prayed in chapter 32. God had just told Jacob to return to the land of his family. The same land his brther Esau lived on. The same Esau that lost his birthright and blessing to Jacob. The same Esau that wanted to kill Jacob. But God told Jacob to return and that God would “treat him well”. Yet Jacob still had doubts. Fears that his brother would kill him so Jacob prayed to God:

9 And then Jacob prayed, “God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, God who told me, ‘Go back to your parents’ homeland and I’ll treat you well.’ 10 I don’t deserve all the love and loyalty you’ve shown me. When I left here and crossed the Jordan I only had the clothes on my back, and now look at me—two camps! 11 Save me, please, from the violence of my brother, my angry brother! I’m afraid he’ll come and attack us all, me, the mothers and the children. 12 You yourself said, ‘I will treat you well; I’ll make your descendants like the sands of the sea, far too many to count.’”

This is interesting to me. God already told Jacob that he was going to protect him, yet Jacob was scared and still asked for protection. Guess what? God listened to Jacob’s prayer. God tells us all the time that he has our back. We have a whole bible as referance to that. Yet we still get scared. AND THAT’S OK. God won’t get mad if he bring those fears to him. We can still come and ask for his strength. Heck Jesus did it. In the garden before he was to die. He knew what was coming yet he still wept and pleaded and prayed to God for his strength. Jesus knew exactly what would happen yet he still had fear. Maybe, just maybe having fear isn’t as weak as I though it was. Maybe it’s how you react to that fear. Maybe having fear isn’t a lack of faith. Maybe the faith comes with how you act with that fear.

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