When God Surprises

Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. Genesis 29:10-11

I used to live expecting God to disappoint me. I was sure that what I deserved dictated a provision of something meager. When God poured out favor and blessing instead, I cried for joy and was greatly surprised. Today, however, while there may be times I’m disappointed in God’s timing of a provision, I know it’s not because I’ve fallen into disfavor.

When Jacob met Rachel for the first time, he wept out loud. Was he surprised by God’s gift? Was he overcome by her beauty? We don’t know. I wish this account, and many other stories in scripture would offer a lot more detail so that we wouldn’t have to speculate.

Jacob came to Laban’s country because he was forced to leave home. His departure was necessary because of the plot he carried out against his brother.  I contend that Jacob’s sin had to have undermined his confidence in God. Yes, God appeared to him on his journey and spoke a blessing over him but you and I both know that blessing doesn’t always mean the removal of consequences from our past sins. Jacob did eventually face some things that were related to his acts of deceit but in this part of the story, God blessed him beyond his dreams.

As I think about my spiritual journey, I still feel the impact of some of the choices I’ve made throughout my lifetime. However, God’s grace is there to help me endure it. I’ve also lived long enough to see Him redeem my mistakes. I know what it is to weep for joy.

I used to only know one kind of tears. I’m glad You introduced me to tearful joyfulness. Amen

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