(Gen. 29.20 TNIV).
Many times one might hear the groan or cry of a lonely heart. You might notice when someone writes on Facebook that all they want to find is the right man or woman. Maybe you are the one who is or has written similar words on their wall as some sort of cry or moan into the world. Within everyone’s heart is the desire to be accepted, loved, cherished and wanted. This desire for love can lead us to some of the most painful or joyful moments in life.
In the above Scripture we see a man, Jacob, who loves a woman so deeply that he works for seven years without pay just for the chance to marry her. One can imagine what Rachel must have thought and how deeply moved she must have been to know that Jacob was willing to make such a sacrifice so that he could spend the rest of his life with her. I think of how happy my wife is when I simply wash the baby bottles once in a while, let alone if I worked without pay for seven years for her. This seemingly incredible love story does not lack its share of twist and turns. As one reads through Genesis 30.25, it becomes apparent that God has more in mind for Jacob and Rachel than it would at first seem.
Once Jacob has worked for seven years he receives a woman’s hand in marriage but this woman is not Rachel, it is in fact her older sister Leah. Jacob is then forced to work another seven years to marry Rachel. When he finally gets to marry Rachel, they were not at first blessed with children. The lack of children from Rachel causes Jacob to have 11 boys with three other women. Finally the last boy that Jacob has was brought to him through Rachel. When we consider the importance of these children, we begin to understand the dynamics of finding our “soul mate.”
Jacob’s twelve boys bring great blessing to the world. They have even brought blessings to Christians today. Through these twelve we have the twelve tribes of Israel. Into the twelve tribes of Israel comes Jesus, God incarnate, transforming the world, and inaugurating the Kingdom of God into the world. Through the twelve tribes of Israel we have the Bible, Jesus and the Church. Of the twelve boys there was one that brought blessings to all of his brothers and thus brought blessings to the entire world. Joseph, the youngest and the only son brought through Rachel, gave blessings to his brothers, despite their transgressions against him, by welcoming them into Egypt during a difficult period of drought and famine in Palestine. The son that Jacob had with his true love, Rachel, was a blessing for all the other children and for the rest of the world.
There is a question these blessings raise- does God create soul mates? Is there one true person who is perfect for you in the world? The answer is emphatically no. Jacob had other wives and children. The other eleven boys did bring blessings into the world. God blessed the conception of these children even though they didn’t come from Jacob’s one true love. God blesses us when we follow him, meaning God also blesses us in our relationships. Sure, God can bless certain relationships more than others, as in the case of Joseph the son of Jacob and Rachel, but God still blessed Jacob and Leah even though Jacob did not want to marry her.
The bottom line is that if you are single you should relax. If you follow God and focus your heart on him, then God will bless you and thus bless your later relationship. God doesn’t only bless you if you marry this certain individual who for all you know could be on the other side of the world. God will bring you a man or woman that will be a blessing to you. Lastly, if you are married and struggling then make it work. Do what you need to do to keep your marriage together. Seek counseling, read a marriage book together, humble yourself and ask “what can I do to make things better,” or go to a marriage conference. No matter you do whether you are happily married, in a struggling marriage or single, focus your heart or hearts on God because you never know, your children may just bless the whole world for thousands of years to come.