I don’t like getting my hopes too high up. I don’t like getting disappointed, that’s why. I’d rather expect the worst then just be taken by surprise.
Sounds like it works? Not really. Being pessimistic sure does not help the heart and the brain. You think you’re sparing yourself from possible disappointment but in the process, you subject yourself to anxiety. You waste more braincells as you think of what to do when things don’t go well.
On a heavier note, you somehow eliminate the great power and the love of the One up there.
“OUCHIE!” Exactly my reaction as I read on Genesis Chapter 32-33. Nope, this is not one of those destruction stories. Stay with me. This one ends well, believe me.
In Genesis 31:3, God instructed Jacob to go back to the Land of his fathers and relatives. God promised that He will be with him as he returns. God first manifested his Hand in the command as Jacob receives favor from Laban . Laban released Jacob from his servant hood and even bestowed blessings upon him, his wives, and children.
In Chapter 32, Jacob’s journey back to his father’s land starts. The biggest obstacle, he thought, was meeting Esau again. If you read the earlier chapters, you will see that Jacob has wronged Esau more than once. He stole his birthright; pretended to be Esau to get his Father’s blessings – things like that. So since he did those ugly things to him, Jacob was convinced that Esau would get back at him ergo, he prepared for the worst.
In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,the group that is left may escape.” -Genesis 32:7-8
All throughout his journey back, Jacob was thinking of ways by which to stall Jacob, appease Jacob, and protect him and his family just in case none of the first two worked. He was obviously afraid of what is to happen and he was transparent about it.
That I would have to give to Jacob. He was honest to God about how he felt and despite His fear, he was hanging on to the Lord’s promise.
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. 1But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’” -Genesis 32:11-12
In the latter part of chapter 32, we will even read of Jacob wrestling with God – not letting him go until he blesses Him. And God did. God gave Him a new name and in Chapter 33, God proved to him that none of what he feared would happen; that a promise is a promise.
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. -Genesis 33:4
All that Jacob had worried about, anticipated and prepared for – all erased by Esau’s embrace.
What a magical moment! What a beautiful surprise! All those times, Jacob was picturing the wrong thing. He didn’t see that as he was trekking back home and as God was working in his heart during, God was also working in the heart of his brother. AWESOME. 🙂
You see, I get pessimistic most of the time because I think of most of my situations as impossible. I keep forgetting two things – that the Lord loves me and that because He loves me, nothing is too hard for Him.
If you are in what you think is a pigs-might-fly situation, hang in there. Present your case before God and allow yourself to be surprised by what His love for you can do. Jacob experienced it. You can too!