Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence. —Proverbs 3:25-26
Did you ever wake up one day only to discover nothing is like it was? Everything has changed. You have different surroundings, different people around you, and a different outlook—and it happened almost overnight. It is as if the bottom of your life dropped out without any notice. You are having to cope with sudden change. That happened to Jacob.
Now there’s more than one kind of change. There can be an unforeseen change for the better, and you are glad that nothing is like it was—you couldn’t be happier; there can also be voluntary change—you made it happen. Yet, even though the change for Jacob was caused by external factors and he didn’t ask for it, no doubt it had the inevitable effect of changing him inwardly in certain ways, and that for the better.
When we are living within the purpose of God, the trauma of unwanted change will improve us, and the day will come, sooner or later, when we will thank God for all of it, although at the time we couldn’t be convinced that was possible. But for the most part, we don’t like change, especially if everything has been going along fairly well.
Four things happened to Jacob in a very short period of time. Three involved deaths, and the fourth was a family tragedy. Jacob moved twice during this time. Psychologists say that the second greatest trauma in life is moving; the first is the death of someone close to you. Here, Jacob was experiencing both; coinciding with the deaths of three people very close to him was a change of place.
Why did all these things happen to Jacob? God brings us to a place that we have to face life without any tie to the past, so that we will get our pleasure, not from knowing who finds out about this or that, but from knowing that God is pleased with us.
Excerpted from All’s Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).