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It’s been a few years since I did a “read through the bible” plan and I’ve been wanting to try a new one this year. I was really excited to find Robin Ridgeway’s new devotional book, Read the Bible with Me. It includes 365 days of a bible reading plan and short devotional. I’ve really been enjoying it so far.
Today, according to the plan, I read Genesis 28-30. In Genesis 29, the infamous saga of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel begin. And boy is it a doozy!
Side note: After you’ve read the story of this trio in Genesis, I HIGHLY recommend you check out Lowlands of Scotland Series that starts with first book, Thorn in My Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs. Higgs takes the biblical account of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel and place them into a historical fiction setting of Scotland in the 1700s and it is AMAZING!
Anyway, if you’ve never read the Genesis account, you definitely should. It’s highly interesting and really begins back in Genesis 27 when Jacob (with the help of his mother) tricks his father into giving his blessing and inheritance to him instead of his older brother. Jacob flees the wrath of his brother and ends up at his Uncle Laban’s house where he meets his cousin, Rachel, and falls madly in love with her. He works for seven years for his uncle to earn the hand of his young bride only to be swindled by his uncle. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying his older (and apparently not-so-pretty) daughter Leah…I feel you, Leah, I wasn’t the pretty sister, either… and then agrees to give him Rachal as well but only if he works for him for another seven years!
So, Jacob winds up with two wives – and not-so-shockingly – a whole heap of trouble! He doesn’t love Leah, but he has no problem making babies with her. He loves Rachel, but she’s barren. Rachel becomes jealous and gives her maidservant to Jacob to have babies for her. In turn, this makes Leah jealous who then gives her maidservant to Jacob to have babies. I mean, for real, and I thought my marriage was a mess!
And the for real honest truth of it is a few years ago, my marriage really was a mess.
We went through a really hard, dark season of our marriage in 2013. There was betrayal and distrust and crazy arguing and there were times when I felt quite hopeless about it all. We were in marriage counseling and we had the help and prayer support of our trusted church family, but we couldn’t seem to break the cycle of arguments. Then there was one day, in the midst of it, that we decided to take a time out and have a “date day”. We went spent the afternoon hiking at a local park.
I love hiking and I feel like God often speaks to me when I’m in the nature he created. We had actually been enjoying the day, our heads cleared by fresh air, and after all it’s hard to fight when you’re out of breath from climbing hills. We stopped to rest at the top of a particularly tough incline when I noticed a pair of bees at the base of a nearby tree. They were absolutely going at it…fighting… buzzing loudly. They weren’t exactly flying…more like hovering in one place…darting at each other continuously. It was basically a mid-air wrestling match. I didn’t want to get stung, they were low to the ground, and I thought, “You know, I could easily lift up my foot, stomp on them, and take them both out in a second. They’re so engrossed with fighting each other, they’d never see it coming.”
And just like that, God spoke to my heart. You’re so engrossed with fighting each other, Satan could destroy your family in an instant and you’d never see it coming.
But our family wasn’t destroyed. Our story didn’t end there and neither did Jacob’s.
You see, God had made a promise to Jacob to bring him back to land of his father and to build the kingdom of Israel through his descendants. Partially because of his large family size and by the grace of God, Jacob was finally prompted to build his wealth and leave the house of Laban. God fulfilled his promise to and through Jacob, despite the mess he made.
Robin Ridgeway, in Read the Bible with Me, says it like this,
“Sometimes our lives get a little crazy, and we don’t see God’s hand at work. But God does not think like man or operate like man. He can take the mess of our lives and turn it into something good for us. He can get glory for Himself, even though we have lost control.”
Why didn’t Satan destroy Jacob when he had made that crazy mess? Why didn’t he destroy our family when we had lost control? The answer is simple. God wouldn’t let him. Despite us, despite the mess we had made, God wouldn’t let him. He had a different plan.
God is so gracious to us! Thank God He opened my eyes that day. Thank God He carried us through that dark season. I know that every situation is different, but if you are going through a hard time in your marriage, please know that even if you cannot see a way through that nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) Reach out and seek help. Go to marriage counseling. Seek the help and prayers of your church family, and lean into arms of the One whose love for you is deep and wide (Ephesians 3:18). It’s okay if you’ve made a mess. He knows how to fix it.
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Subscribe to get my free ebook, 6 Ways to Find Joy When You're Overwhelmed with MomLife. It includes the Joy Seekers Scripture Memory Challenge with 52 Memory Verse Cards, joy-themed printables, and more! Click here to learn more about the free ebook, 6 Ways to Find...read more
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