I woke up today thinking about Jacob and Rachel - twice, actually. (I took a nap today, and it was heavenly... tho I am still oddly tired.) I find myself hesitant to say that I feel like God was trying to speak something in my half-conscious almost-but-not-quite awake-ness... and yet, I think He was. Is... :) I'm still not really awake, I don't think. I had a really high fever yesterday, and took the day off today to sleep and rest and maybe try to clean up a bit of the chili from earlier this week, and I am still very tired... but it feels... significant... that Jacob and Rachel were on my mind so randomly, and so persistently.
So the one thing I've done today aside from procrastinating on the internet is reading their story in a couple of different versions. I really liked Walter Wangerin's re-telling of the story in The Book of God. It's a longer story, and there's a lot you could unpack from it, but the part of their story I am mostly thinking about today is in Genesis 29:1-30. Somewhere over the course of time, I got the story a bit muddled in my head... I thought that Jacob waited 14 years for Rachel. But he didn't. He worked for 7 years, spent a week with Leah, and then got Rachel - and worked for another 7 years after that. I find this... disturbing. I know culturally it was totally acceptable, but poor Leah...
But here's something about Jacob: he didn't take Rachel and run.
That seems significant. Particularly because Jacob was once known to be a bit of a rat. What did those 7 years of laboring for Rachel teach him? And how did getting Leah affect him? And what possesses a man to stay put and keep working for something he already has?
I haven't done the research; I can't tell you if it's an appropriate lesson to take from the text or not, or even what exactly the lesson is, but I feel like that last question touches on what God was trying to get at with me while I was half-dreaming their story twice today. (And trust me, if it happens a third time I will be taking this very seriously!) What is it that we're willing to do for what we really want? And are we willing to keep working for what we already have? (And what does that mean exactly?!)
Genesis 29:20 - So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. (NKJV)
Matthew Henry comments: "If we know how to value the happiness of heaven, the sufferings of this present time will be as nothing to us in comparison of it. An age of work will be but as a few days to those that love God and long for Christ's appearing."
Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
That's true on any number of levels - both in terms of how it affects others around us, and in terms of our own journeys...
I don't know where I'm going with this. I think I need to drag myself to the grocery store in search of real food... the snacking just isn't helping the mental sluggishness. In the meantime...
Insights, anyone? :)