Today’s Musing is from Donna Perkins.
Then the messenger returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. And he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.” Then Jacob said, “Oh God … deliver me.” —Genesis 32:6-9a, 11a NKJV (emphasis mine)
The air was thick with dread. Beads of sweat gathered on furrowed, worried brows. A lone tumbleweed rolled by the window outside. The corner clock ticked the minutes by while time seemed to drag to a standstill as they waited with baited breath for the arrival of the infamous Bad Bart.
Spurs clanged as his boot heels pounded on the boardwalk outside; the saloon doors swung open. His large frame filled the doorway and blocked the sun. A deathly hush fell over the room. As he approached the bar, the crowd parted with a gasp. He had come to give the bartender what he deserved, what he had coming to him.
With a graveled voice, he reminded the cowering, quaking bartender what had happened on his previous visit, and now the bartender was going to get what was coming to him! Thinking that the worst was about to descend on him, the bartender slunk down even further behind the bar.
Bad Bart reminded him that, not only had the bartender been out of sarsaparilla, but he had kept Bart waiting a really long time while he rode to the next town to get some. In the long wait, Bart had forgotten to pay for it; so here he was to give the bartender what he deserved. With that, Bad Bart slapped down the overdue coin onto the counter.
As Bad Bart turned and lumbered out of the bar, Miss Clementine proclaimed, “Like I said, the man marches to a different drum!” Life resumed to normal for the Sesame Street Muppets. (Air date March 29, 1990)
Expecting the worst! How easy it is for people who are Eeyore personalities like me. Remember Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Eeyore, who pretty much personified “expecting the worst” with his bleak outlook on life? So it was for the shaking bartender, and so it was for Jacob. He totally expected the worst from his brother coming to meet him with 400 men. In fairness, Jacob had every right to expect disaster after what he’d done to his brother, stealing his birthright. And yet … even though he was expecting the worst, he did the right thing: He cried out to God.
Crisis moments always reveal what lies in the heart. They show us where we really are in the things of God. Jacob could have run away from his crisis, but he didn’t. He met what he thought was sure disaster head on. He did some things right: He made a plan and he brought it all to God. In fact, he didn’t just casually mention it to God. He threw himself on Him crying out “Remember what You said God!” That’s a good pattern to follow when we are expecting the worst: Cry out to God who is our one true help in times of crisis.
Lord, help this Eeyore to remember more quickly that what seems to be, may not necessarily be how it is or will be. Thank You that I can throw myself on You every moment of every day. Thank You for Your Word that I can pray back to You. Oh, what strength it gives! I love You Lord!
Donna is 40+ years happily married, a thankful and proud mama and nana of three children and eight grands—and owned by one mischievous kitty, Shadow. Donna’s passions are animals, nature, “old people,” and spreading the love and encouragement of Christ through sharing His Word.
Safe in His care,
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