Nov 4, 2010, 1:25 PM
All of us, at one point or the other must have attempted, under the increasing weight of our troubles, to get rid of them single-handedly, that is, by our own wisdom, experience or might; for much of the time with little success. Such a reaction seems to always be our first option.
When however we fail repeatedly, we tend to want to fold our hands and accept the status quo. No, we must look to the Burden-Bearer. He is a person in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord; right from the onset. He says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jacob, Isaac’s son, felt cheated after twenty years of hard labour working for his uncle. Unable to wriggle out of his problem he opted for an easy solution, the only one that seemed apparent to him – to sneak out by the back door. He could take it no longer. Uncle Laban had denied him the wife he had worked for after seven years even though they had struck a deal. He had to work an additional seven years to be entitled to the woman of his choice.
When Laban discovered that Jacob had ‘run off secretly’ he was bitter. He gave chase, and after he had caught up with him, he questioned: “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.” (Genesis 31:26) Jacob was equally angry and could not contain himself anymore; he retorted: “What is my crime? What sin have I committed that you hunt me down? I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded from me for whatever was stolen by day or by night. This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. It was like this for twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” (Genesis 31:39-42)
If our relatives can mistreat us the way Laban did his nephew, what are we to expect from our enemies? Where would we run to for shelter? Trust God. He is not indifferent to our misfortunes. He promises to bail us out of our troubles when we call upon him.“... and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.” (Psalm 50:15)
God had come to Jacob’s rescue in a timely manner. First, he admonished him in a dream to pack his bags and return home. “Go back to the Land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.’ ” (Genesis 31:3) Again in a dream, he said: “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and back to your native land.” (Genesis 31:13) God will always take care of his own, and will always make a way for us even where there seems to be no way.
That aside, God also had a word for his uncle after the latter got wind of Jacob’s flight. “God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.” (Genesis 31:24) No hassle therefore for Jacob!
No matter how long our problems may linger, they will come to an end if we do not give up. There is always ample light at the end of the tunnel when we consider our problems as stepping stones and not permanent road blocks. David wrote; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) David was on the move even in the midst of his trials. And whilst sometimes our problems may be considered ‘a necessary evil,’ the objective is to help us grow. Furthermore, we must not lose sight of the fact that setbacks are seasonal in nature. “... weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b)
Do not let your troubles drain your strength and resources as well.It is not enough to cry, lament or murmur. Take a stand! Hand over your problems to the Burden-Bearer, Jesus our Lord – the only one who has the answer. He is the only one who has conquered Satan, the prince of this world and the problem- creator.However, when your problem does not go away, still remember that God is in control. Listen closely, he must be saying to you. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)