Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anxious Meetings

waiting room

3    He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4    But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

Genesis 33:3-4

I have had my share of anxious meetings. Life dishes them out with some regularity. It might be sitting down with a doctor after some medical tests. It could be the boss saying, “Would you step into my office for a minute?” It might be a friend or relative calling with that uncertain question and rising inflection, “Can we talk?” There are so many ways in which a sudden turn can find life changing in a conversation or meeting with somebody.

God is there in those anxious times, as evidenced by His providential workings through what had been a notoriously broken relationship between the brother Jacob and Esau. When they parted ways, Esau had threatened to kill Jacob at the first convenient opportunity over Jacob’s robbing him of his father’s blessing. Now, at this meeting, Jacob presents his wronged brother a magnificent material gift of restitution, and when he does so, he has to talk Esau into accepting it, not because Esau is in a rage, but because Esau has mellowed so much that he is glad to see his brother again. Esau certainly had his spiritual immaturity issues (so did Jacob in big ways), but forgiveness did come quickly to him, and that was something God used graciously to restore Jacob/Israel to the Promised Land.’

God left the actions that Jacob chose to restore his relationship with Esau stand. He honored Jacob’s changing heart. He honored Esau’s changing heart. And the anxious meeting became a time of blessing. I should remember that when my uncertain conversations appear.

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