WHEN I FEAR I’VE WASTED YEARS
And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Genesis 29:25-26
I don’t know if you have ever felt like Jacob or not. He fell in love with Rachel, asked her father Laban for her hand in marriage and was told that he could purchase her dowry for seven years of labor. There was no reason to doubt Laban’s word. He was family and seemed sincere.
Jacob worked joyfully and anticipated the day he could marry Rachel. He expressed that the labor and effort he sustained for seven years were ‘as one day’ ~ so great was his love for his bride-to-be. Then the plot takes a sickening turn. Laban deceives Jacob. Underneath the wedding veil is not Rachel but her sister. He has been tricked and seven years of his life is gone. Is God the redeemer of lost years? That is the question.
Have you ever signed up for something that would be of great cost to you – only to find out later that information was withheld? You might have made a different decision entirely. Some marry under false pretenses. Some make business decisions under a shroud of deception and lose everything. Some bare their soul to a confidant and later find out that the information has been used against them. These stories involve great losses, one of which is time.
Jacob was forty when he went on his journey to meet Rachel. Hardly a young groom. To lose seven years must have seemed depressing but there is no indication that he plummets into despair. He loves Rachel enough to jump into another seven years of labor for the joy of finally having her as his wife.
Hindsight into Jacob’s story offers us golden insight into the plans of God for people’s lives. His blessing on Jacob wasn’t thwarted in the least by Laban’s deception. When I’m the child of the great Redeemer, what seem to be lost years aren’t even a problem for God. When others sin against me and steal from me, it is spiritual futility to fall into bitterness. The energy and despair (and the strongholds that result) are really what’s wasted. Don’t I know the power of the One whose child I am? For three years, I despaired over 22 lost years, only to discover that they weren’t lost at all. They were teachers for the great redemption to come!
I’ve also learned that joy in You confounds and frustrates the one who sinned against me. Is there any greater victory and testimony? Amen
Journal Question: What losses are you counting today? Money, time, youth? Does it appear that your offender has won because of what was stolen? What does faith look like today? Would you stretch your spiritual eyesight to include a redemptive turn in your storyline?