9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”
Have you ever felt like your life is out of control and you might fall apart at any moment? I have felt this way many times and it is usually because of the many changes in my life. Change can be enlightening and also the most difficult thing. Many times with change we never know what to expect. Change can leave you spinning out of control grasping to regain control, only to realize you never had control. Change is happening all around us everyday. A loved one dies, a new life is born, loss of a friendship, new job, new school, these are just a few things that bring about change. Many of us welcome change from a distance but are slow to embrace it.
In the scripture above God has instructed Jacob to return to the land he fled from many years ago. The only problem with returning is Jacob fled from his brother Esau, many years ago for fear of his life. Now he must return and face his brother Esau not knowing what the outcome will be. Jacob didn’t just have to face his brother but he had to uproot his entire family and travel for many days to a foreign land. Not only must Jacob face his brother who he stole his birth right from. Jacob loses his wife in child labor, he has a new baby, and his daughter is raped and his sons kill an entire village in retaliation. Jacob was experiencing some serious change. Through all this change Jacob turns to all he knows. He turns to God and offers this prayer. It is a prayer of reassurance of what God has done and what he has promised Jacob.
Did you know that God has promised each of us? He has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Matthew 6:31-34 “31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Through all the changes in our lives trust God and cling to his promises. Your life may seem out of control but God is in control.
Fall is approaching very quickly and the leaves are beginning to change. What a process that a tree must endure through each season. Every year a tree grows a little taller, its branches spread a little further and it sprouts leaves of green. However when the weather changes the leaves begin to change color. Its one of the most beautiful times of the year. It is beautiful but yet those leaves are dying. As they fade away the winds come and the rain and snow fall. Slapping the tree back and forth until all the leaves have fallen away. All that stands through this change is the tree that is rooted deeply in the ground. Eventually the storm ends and winter passes and new leaves form once again. It is a process that happens through the entire life of that tree. Through all that the tree continues to grow taller, and its roots deeper. We are like a tree and our roots are the word of God and our branches are our worship to God. No matter what change we face as long as we stay rooted in God and worship him we will continue to grow.