Have you ever dreaded what you knew was going to happen later in the day? You tossed and turned all night and soon it was morning. It could have been you were apprehensive about a special meeting that was called at work. It might have been the arrival of some friends or family whom you haven’t seen for years. Maybe it was a phone call that you knew would get after supper. Whatever it was, it’s had your stomach in knots and your shoulders tensed up.
Jacob knew this feeling, too. Jacob was coming back into the land that he had left. That meant he was going to run into his brother. And, if you remember, they didn’t exactly give each other a bon voyage party when they separated. No, there was a threat of murder.
Join me in the classroom of Genesis 32. It’s here that Jacob teaches us how to handle those situations that are mixed with the known and unknown. What’s known is something will definitely happen. What’s unknown is what will happen. Oops, the teacher is telling me to get quiet . . . .
“Class, I want you to learn how to handle situations like mine. First, lay your pencils down and set your notebooks aside. Now, slide out of your desks and kneel down on the floor. You are all doing great so far!”
“Next, do like this,” he says as he folds his hands together.
He continues, “We’re almost there. One of the last things is to bow your head. That’s right, you’ve got it!”
“Now that you’re there, I think you know what else to do. All of you go ahead with yours and I’ll just say mine from up here.”
And so class is done. Jacob may not have shared this in a whiteboard-lined room, but he did show it in verses 9-12 of our chapter. When the day was going to be uncertain (and which ones weren’t?), he prayed. Specifically, he said a prayer claiming the promises that God had made to him.
When your day has your stomach rolling and your shoulders tensing, call out God’s promises in prayer. Are you reminding him? No, you’re helping him remind you. Be reminded of all he said he would give you now and in the life to come. Go on, set this down and slide out of your desk. You remember the rest . . . .