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Burden? or Blessing!

October 11, 2014

It’s all in the way you look at it.  Sometimes things that seem unbearable are lifted when we expect them to bless us.

In Genesis, in the Bible, (32:24-30) we read of Jacob returning to his home after becoming very wealthy working for his uncle.  He had fled, after wronging his brother many years before and was in terror of Esau’s revenge.  During the night prior to their encounter, “there wrestled a man with him.”  But actually, Jacob was wrestling with himself: with guilt, with shame, but mostly with fear.  Did he deserve to perish at the hands of his brother?  Was depriving Esau of not only his birthright but of his father’s blessing reason to die?

These questions were not easily answered.  Jacob had put off even considering them all the years he worked for his wife’s father.  But God told him to return to the land of his family, and he was being obedient.  He hoped that counted for something.

He struggled.  With rocks as pillows and stars as witnesses, he finally refused to ignore it any longer.  If this was his last night on earth, at least he would face up to the wrongs he had done.  He would take responsibility for his actions.

But something happened.  In coming to terms with his deceit and cowardice, he saw an aspect of himself previously unknown.  This recognition transformed him and he felt blessed.  As morning light dawned, Jacob was a new man.  No longer afraid of his brother, he wished to share his good fortune with him.

And so it was.  Jacob embraced Esau and said “I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.”  They parted as friends – and equals.

When we see ourselves and others in that light, our burdens become blessings.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

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