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The Struggle and the Blessing - Life of Jacob


How do you sum up someone’s life in just a few words?  This is the challenge for anyone who has to speak in memory of someone at their funeral.  How might we sum up the life of Jacob?  My suggestion is that his life was defined by struggle and blessing.


These two elements refused, in dogged fashion, to ever detach themselves from Jacob’s life.  Just when Jacob thinks he has finally laid his troubles to rest, along comes the next wave to crash upon him.  And just when Jacob thinks God might have abandoned Him, out of the heavens speaks again a powerful reminder of divine promise.  And sometimes the blessing was not in the form of spoken word, but an epiphany moment of divine encounter which leaves words like “awesome” on Jacob’s lips.


If your life is anything like mine, you will identify with Jacob’s experience of life’s ups and downs.  Tensions within family relationships, being betrayed, running scared, feeling far from home, losing those we love, emptiness from unfulfilled dreams, waiting and yearning – these were all part of Jacob’s experience – and I expect at least some of these have touched your own life, too.


So, in this series get ready to journey with Jacob.  The Struggle and the Blessing features all the primary narrative passages about Jacob in the book of Genesis.  It’s a beautifully narrated story (one of my biblical favourites!) that rarely fails to move its readers.  As with all the series in the Mariners collection, the aim is to encounter God through the biblical text as the Holy Spirit whispers to our hearts and draws us close.  For each day there are 3 sections: a Bible passage to read, a reflection on the passage which both teaches and offers ways to apply God’s word in your own situation, and then a closing prayer.


Whether your life is currently defined by struggle or blessing, you are invited on a journey alongside someone deeply acquainted with many ups and downs.  Jacob was never without struggle; he was never without blessing.  May you, like Jacob, find that whatever your life situation, you are held in God’s hands and are part of His purposes.

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