God works in mysterious ways is a saying as old as Adam. He certainly does tend to move in dimensions we cannot fathom, in ways we only partially understand in hindsight. However, there seems to be one dimension the Almighty likes to move in particular… Let’s try to go there –
“You’re travelling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop…”
I’m heading home – where I belong. After twenty years.
Twenty years without being able to speak to my father. Oh – how I miss him! He was so frail when I left, I can’t imagine he has held on this long. Yet, surely, there would have been news had he passed on. Surely mother would have sent news!
And my mother – I know, she loves me, she wants the best for me – what God had promised her for me. But we didn’t have to rush it. We didn’t have to help Him along.
Helping Him along hasn’t helped me any these twenty long years. She should have listened to Grandmother, learned from her mistakes – especially in the “helping-the-Almighty” category.
What good is a blessing if you can’t enjoy it? Sheesh, now I sound like my brother.
My brother. As much as I hate to admit it, I miss him too. But more than I miss him, I fear him.
He has every right to hate me, to despise me, to kill me.
To kill me and take back what was rightfully his – my blessing.
My blessing, his blessing – the blessing.
For twenty years I’ve tended another man’s flocks and fields while my brother has tended what is mine. I can only imagine the shape of the fields, he wasn’t much for the livestock and planting – but at the slaying and eating he excelled. Maybe, perhaps, two decades have matured him. It may be necessity has birthed in him an appreciation for the flocks and crops.
I certainly hope at the least these years have soothed his temper and indignation. Twenty years, no doubt he too has taken a wife. If the decades failed, the Lord is my witness, a wife will have brought a change in his life! Alas, if both time and women have failed to calm him, my only hope is the waves of gifts I have sent ahead.
Two decades and as many wives have certainly brought a change and birthed appreciation in my own self. Certainly an appreciation for honesty.
Ahhh! The deceit of my father-in-law, I feel the burn my brother felt. Even now, just yesterday – How could he!? For him to think I stole his daughters, grandchildren, and livestock – I slaved for twenty years for all this! They are not his, they are mine – my wives, my children, my flocks!
And for him to think I would have reason to steal his gods. The pathetic little tokens of his – what? Why would I need his idols? I am certainly not nearly as devout or faithful as father and grandfather – but I cannot stoop to the level of dealing in trinket gods!
Oh, calm yourself! It is over with him. He is gone, now we have a covenant, a line, a border that we will not cross except in peace. I must leave him behind, and focus on the task ahead. Perhaps now is as good a time as any for me to visit with the Lord again… It has been so long. I still remember that night in Bethel. The dream! The promise!
…And my ignorant, foolish vow to Him. My vow that if He would meet my silly list of demands I would somehow allow Him to be my God – What a FOOL!
“Oh God! God of my father and grandfather.
The God that made incredible promises to me when I was a young fool.
That said I would be great, that my household would be great!
I was a fool to demand Your provision. I am still a fool.
An unworthy fool –
You have provided for me. You have clothed me. You have given me a family. You have met my foolish demands…
And here I stand alone tonight – my family divided and scattered!
A fearful fool – my brother, the brother I robbed, will meet me tomorrow… Please God – I have no business asking, but for my wives, my children, and Your promise – let it be well when we meet him. Don’t allow it to be war! Don’t allow it to be stri-” —OOF!
Is -That – umph!
Ow! I can’t see -Is-that-you!?
Well, I’m not going to lie down and give up! -Arghh-Ughhh-Umph
Who is this!? -Oow-Grrt-Argh- Could I have been so lost in my prayer this person crept through the trees noislessly? Why can’t I get a good look at him? Argh-umph
Focus on staying alive. It’s difficult to focus on much else rolling around on the forest floor.
Umph – Ouch! Crashing against tree trunks.
Argh – I’m hitting and twisting and pushing as hard as I can, but getting no where – surely this isn’t my brother or any of his 400 men! Grrrar-ugh- No relief. No giving in. No giving up.
Oh! On the ground again… Roll to the clearing, maybe the moon will shine light on his face – argh
Uh-who cares who he is, just knock him out… Urgh-He.should.be.out.already.
Oooogh-But he’s not, so keep going. –
Into the brook – splash-slphhh-grgglll- He’s trying to drown me.
Arghh-back out of the brook.
There a rock. Trip him.Umph- His head – into the stone – Argh.
How can that be? -umph-No head is that hard… Was that sand stone? Ugh-
Ahhhh-ughh- I’m so tired, can’t stop. What time is it – this seems like it’s been hours.
Is that twilight on the horizon? It is…
The stranger says, “Let me go – the day is breaking!”
OOOOWW!!! He just touched my thigh and my hip snapped out of joint. OOOOWW!!!
We wrestled all night without this kind of pain! ARGHHH!!! This is no man…
The stranger again says, “Let me go – it’s twilight!”
“No! I will not let you go until you bless me.”
The stranger asks, “What is your name?”
“Not anymore. No longer are you a supplanter – now your name is Israel. As a prince you have power – with man, and with God; and you prevailed!”
“What, then, is YOUR name?”
“Why is it you would need to know my Name? Just know that you have been blessed by the Almighty in this place.”
And just as silent and swift as the Visitor arrived – He vanished. And with Him he took decades of pain and fear and deceit! My heaviness is gone – carried away.
Replaced with this new pain, yes – a physical pain, in my leg. Oh – I may never walk the same again; but the joy of knowing…
He is not just the God of my fathers Abraham and Isaac –
But – He is now the God of Abraham, Isaac, and… Israel!
Now, Twilight is past – it is time to return. To my brother, mother, and father.
(Loosely taken from Genesis 27-32)