Sunday, 6 September 2009

Don't Worry 13 - Get Your Thinking Straight (C)

13. Get your thinking straight: See the problem in perspective and be realistic

What’s the worst that can happen? And what is really likely to happen? I once prepared a Bible study about worrying — and then caught myself worrying about how it would be received! Whether it would be really boring and unhelpful for those attending, whether it would be too short or too long, and so on. Forcing myself to think realistically I realised that it would probably be at least of some use to them, because considering these things had helped me. It might be a bit boring, but I felt sure they could live with that! It didn't really matter how long it was. And even if I should completely dry up, or they found it too obvious or even completely wrong — I knew that they would be kind and supportive because we were brothers and sisters in Christ.

Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face. (Nelson DeMille)

I think Jacob fell into the trap of getting things out of perspective and losing a sense of reality, when he returned to meet Esau after 15 years or more with Laban. Perhaps there was some excuse for him because the last he’d heard from Esau were words of hate. Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob." (Genesis 27:41)  But Jacob had God’s promise: Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you." (Genesis 31:3)

We read in Genesis 32:7-8, 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." At least he then prayed — but remember then how he sent his family and gifts of animals ahead of him to pacify Esau.

In the end, though, all his fears were unfounded. 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)