READING: Genesis 31-32, Matthew 11:1-24
Sometimes, friends who walked with us and blessed us personally take a turn in another direction. We might know the immediate cause of the change, but we don’t always know. What seems an abrupt change in some cases also seems strange and unwarranted. Nothing we do fixes the problem. We’re left hurting and confused.
And, regrettably, we’re sometimes that friend who turns on another.
Jacob understood that issue, as his father-in-law Laban who once welcomed him changed his attitude toward him. Here’s the way Jacob described it to his wives, Laban’s daughters: “I can see from your father’s face that his attitude toward me is not the same as before” (Gen 31:5). Jacob had served Laban for many years, but something had changed. Had Jacob only gotten angry and taken revenge, we might understand his actions.
What Jacob knew, though, was that he was never alone in this conflict. In fact, he told Rachel and Leah that their father had changed his disposition, “but the God of my father has been with me” (Gen 31:5). God had protected him from harm and blessed his work. Now, Jacob fully intended on obeying God to return to his “native land” (Gen 31:13).
Here’s what I need to learn today. In times when conflict among friends arises and the pain is great, God is still with me. Even if everyone else changed his attitude toward me, turned against me, and sought to harm me, God would still be there. His love for me is everlasting.
Prayer: “God, help me to lean on You even when relationships falter. And, Lord, help me to seek forgiveness and reconciliation if I’m the one who has turned against another relationship.”
Tomorrow’s reading: Genesis 33-35, Matthew 11:25-12:14