When you're young, no one tells you what it's like to be old.
The most alarming thing is how much pain you experience on a daily basis. Your days are filled with a backdrop of little pains and larger pains, from old injuries and the stress of life compounded by your strength now slowly fading. The pain of the soul can add up as well. For God doesn't see as we do and sometimes He works His will despite our intention and the misunderstanding of His plan. Blessed be the Lord, whose grace is not limited by the shortsighted vision of blind old men.
I would have chosen Esau.
That fateful morning I woke in a horrible mood, back and legs aching and from a night that was far from restful. My dim eyes were failing (like the rest of me), and I needed to pass our family legacy to my son. We were called to be a nation, increasing in power and influence until all the world would be blessed through us. It was a weighty burden I had inherited from my father. My son would inherit it from me. It was time to pass this torch to the next generation and wait for my final rest to come.
Calling Esau into my room, I asked him to hunt and prepare a feast to honor the occasion. Though my appetite was fading, I wanted to experience a moment of good life again. I longed to sit before the freshly prepared meal that was the result of a day spent hunting. I wanted to recapture a moment of youth through memory and the prowess of my favorite son. He readily agreed, not realizing the weight of what I was asking.
The early part of our day waned, and I napped a bit before hearing him return.
The aroma of the meal was wonderful, but as we spoke something was amiss. Esau was never one to be talkative, but he seemed even more reticent than usual. My eyes only able to make out the shape of him, I asked him to come near and allow me to touch him ... and he did. With my son before me, I felt the Spirit of God moving and the blessing rose from my heart into the late morning air:
Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field the Lord has blessed. May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness an abundance of grain and new wine.
May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.
It was only later that I learned how I had been deceived.
I was furious, but even in the midst of emotion and realization I knew God was at work. He was turning me even as it was happening. Even in anger, I knew the blessing to Jacob must remain given. I hated this. And the same time, I was grateful that sometimes God uses us in spite of ourselves.
It wasn't right what Jacob did. He will pay a high price for his choices. But his desire was for the blessing of God and his heart was after the things that heaven wanted. It doesn't excuse his deception, but I was blind in my own planning and preferences, instead of seeking what God was doing. Jacob was a prince, and the dimness of my vision wasn't just physical.
I was looking as men do, at the strength we can easily see. In contrast, God sees clearly, looking at the heart and honoring those who seek Him with everything. It's humbling when your own schemes are frustrated because you didn't discern God's working. It's a bitter thing to know that there are times when He works around you, instead of through you. It isn't easy, but have the character to admit you are wrong and move back into step with Him.
Trust God. Trust in His genius. Trust Him more than your own senses or ability to plan. Be flexible when He upends your strategy unexpectedly and change to meet His course.
You'll find a blessing that expands to generations.
"May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May He give you and your descendents the blessing given to Abraham ..." (A Blessing from Isaac to Jacob, Genesis 28:3-4a).
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.