Meet Jacob, wily coyote…
Genesis 31: 26-29
“Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war. Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad’.”
Today Mark Nicholas slips into the shoes (or should it be sandals?) of Jacob the trickster who is always getting himself in and out of trouble.
When I think of Jacob, perhaps my greatest fear is that I will get my own way. Of all the decisions that are mine to make, for all the situations to which I will respond, is there a danger that I will make trouble for myself? That I might assert or manipulate to my advantage, deluded that you do not see.
Might my best desires be usurped and the ghosts of my crucified self return to haunt me? Might I need a season at uncle Laban’s? Or a wrestle with you at the ford and a heart stopping encounter with my slighted brother?
Might I need to come to the end of myself before accepting the beginning that is you? If there is any defiance, any rebellion, any curse or bitterness, any politician or despot I have tucked deep inside, may your grace extract what my foolishness would nurse.
And yet in you, precious Jesus, all things work together, all our wisdom and our fickleness, for the good of those who love you. So on this day I trust that you will guide and shape and utilise even the unwelcome intrusions, the lesser selves, the self serving fakery, to make a likeness in me like you, that I might be freed from Jacob within to become like Jesus. And so may I limp with thanksgiving that you love me too much to leave me as I am.