“And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?” (Genesis 30:1,2)
Rachel was beside herself. Although she was the love of her husband’s life, that did not translate into bearing a child with him. Adding to her vexation was a sister having kids left and right. What in heaven’s name was going on here?
Our world at times looks very different than we’d like it to. We have our picture of what domestic bliss; or a successful career; or a harmonious relationship should look like; but having that picture perfect existence doesn’t fall into place so easily. Dissatisfaction and disorder create anxiety. We obsess over one thing or another: “If only this, if only that …” And the longer our hope is delayed, the sicker our heart becomes. In our desperation we lash out at whoever could and should be helping us, but isn’t.
What could Jacob do? He could only do so much. Some things are the way they are because God is in charge. The Lord gives and takes away. He pours out and He withholds. He tries our hearts in a day of want. What He is after is different than what we’re after. We want things; He wants spiritual fruit in our lives. We want what others have; He wants us to be content with what we have; patiently waiting for the more He would add to us; always rejoicing that He is ours. There is a peace He wants us to possess, even when we’re waking up to a world we don’t like looking at.
Rachel’s world was different from Jacob’s. They had different concerns. What had been building up inside her finally burst, and suddenly Jacob had a storm on his hands. Dealing with our own emotions is hard enough; having to deal with the emotions of another can be even harder. Getting angry with his wife was not the right response; but pointing her to God was.
No doubt, Jacob himself must have been befuddled by the situation. Surely, if he could make his wife happy, and give her what she wanted, he would. Yes, we face those moments when we must humbly acknowledge: “I would if I could, but I can’t.” And others must come to realize they are barking up the wrong tree when they’re looking to us to make their dreams come true.
Marriage has its ups and downs. It can be heaven on earth or a pressure cooker; it can bring bright, cloudless days or dark, fearful storms. How do we handle the tough times? By reminding ourselves and those we love that God is in charge. He will protect and provide; He will be with us; He will show us the way forward.
When one expects you to be something you can’t be; don’t get angry with them; patiently point them to the God that they, and you, should be trusting in. Be at peace – He knows how to accomplish both your dreams and His. He makes all things beautiful in His time.