Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”
When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”
In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.”
It had been a beautiful Thursday afternoon. The weather in Miami had been perfect. Warm, but not oppressive as it can be at times. The work day had just come to an end. Throughout the day I had been experiencing a little discomfort. Indigestion. By six o’clock I had found out the hard way that it was much more than indigestion. It was a heart attack.
For me and my family that night and the days that followed were filled with panic, confusion and most of all fear. Laying alone that first night in the quiet of the hospital I couldn’t help but wonder and worry. What was going to happen to me, and what changes lie ahead.
I am recalling those days and the emotions that filled me because of my Bible study this week. Picking up from where I left off in Genesis, we see Jacob struggling with fear. He has lied to his father, stolen from his brother, and now, finds his life in peril as he escapes from home on his way to his mother’s family.
We can only imagine what is going through Jacobs mind. His life has been uprooted. Will he ever see his parents or his home again?
During his time with Laban, Jacob’s life has changed. He has grown and matured into a man, a husband and a father. Jacob has been away from home for twenty years, and now he knows it is time to go home and face the consequences, but still there is so much fear involved. Does his brother still want to kill him? Facing his fear, Jacob makes the journey home and meets his brother on the way. The re-union was filled with hugging and affection.
Like Jacob, we too must face the mistakes and miscalculations, not only of our youth, but of our current circumstances. Maturation and transformation aren’t easy. We humans have a tendency of building things up in our minds to an exaggerated level, serving to only elevate our fears.
If we give in to the fear, the evil inclination that dwells within us has won and kept us enslaved. Instead, we need to be like Jacob and step out in faith, and trust in our creator who loves us. If we choose faith, we can overcome the fears that hold us down and find freedom. After all, isn’t that part of our journey here on earth? To grow in spirit?
As I look back now, I have a different set of emotions around that moment. I view that part of my life as one of my deepest moments of strength. I found faith and clarity and peace.
As I close out this time of sharing, I would like to ask you, what was, or is, one of your deepest moments of fear? What profound thing can you draw from it?
I want to thank you for spending time with me on my journey and I hope that you will join me in the trek.