Last in our look at the life of Jacob (through the book "Escaping with Jacob" by David Ramos), Jacob has been speaking his final words and now he has completed his life journey. It's been a little bumpy, and there were times we wondered how it would turn out, but God has been with him.
Week 29: Read Genesis 49:29-5:1 (Uncovering Our Identity)
"Jacob has finally completed his journey. These last moments of his life bookend his story well. In the previous chapter, he spent time individually blessing each one of his children. The scene is a far cry from the Jacob we knew from the beginning of his story. The scared, selfish young man who cared more about himself than his family has done a full one-eighty. Now he spends his dying moments securing the legacy God has blessed him with.
And just as Jacob looks toward the future for them, he also ends his life by remembering the past. This passage recounts the patriarchs that came before him. His grandfather Abraham, his father Isaac, and their wives were all buried in the land they were promised to one day claim as their own. Jacob takes time to remember them and the promises he is a part of.
It may have taken his entire life, but Jacob died knowing exactly who he was. He was a child of promise, a father, a grandfather, a master of men, and a servant of God. It's possible to believe that he died with no regrets. He was not perfect, but he also never shied away from reconciliation. Jacob passed away surrounded by his family, confident that he had run his race well.
Our identity is a funny thing. Part of it is born within in and is as much a part of us as our lungs or our heart. But another part of our identity is given to us throughout our lives. We pick up pieces of it as we go through trials and triumphs. We uncover new bits of our identity with every new situation we find ourselves in. And most of all, we are awakened to our new identity in Christ as Christ grows in us and draws us to him.
At the end of his days, Jacob saw that a piece of his identity would live on through the people he had loved. We have that same privilege. As we discover who we are, and uncover why we are here, let us never forget to share ourselves with the people around us."
Have you ever wished you'd asked a grandparent or parent about their stories, their life experiences that shaped them and brought them to the point where your live intersected with their own? Stories ground us, show us common ground, give us insight into another person's heart and mind. Ask others to share their story and share your deep stories with others. Forgive the ones who have hurt you, sacrifice for what matters. Fight for someone who could never pay you back. Live your life so that on your final day you can die empty - empty because you shared your entire self with others. What you'll find is that giving your whole self enables you to discover who you really are. Give generously.
Takeaway from today's lesson: We find our identity by living all out.
Prayer: God, thank you that you made me. Help me seize opportunities to live a full life. I want to know who you made me to be. Amen.