As you read this chapter, you find a man who is facing some difficult moments in life. I suspect many of you are right there with Jacob and his suffering. His favored wife, Rachel, dies in childbirth even as the baby lived and thrived. Jacob named him Benjamin. His oldest son also brought shame and suffering upon the Patriarch as he "went in and slept with his father's concubine, Bilhah." Finally, he returned home to Isaac but soon lost him, as he joined his father, Abraham, in heaven. That is enough to wear out even the strongest of men or women as they buckle under the weight of the hurt and shame. Jacob, however, continued to keep his eyes on the God of his father and grandfather. He moved when God told him to move and he commemorated those moments when God spoke directly to him. He built and altar at one spot and called it El Bethel which in Hebrew means "house of God" with a double emphasis on the word "God." Jacob found hope not in a favored wife, or in a perfect child, or in his wonderful father. He found hope in Yahweh, the God of Abraham and Isaac. Is that where your hope is found? If Jacob's hope rested in anything else, he would have quit and done whatever he wanted. Since his hope was in God, Jacob was able to stay the course and continue the journey Yahweh called him to.

Help me, Lord, to find my hope not in my family or my job, but in You! Help me to stay the course no matter how difficult it gets knowing this is the life You have called me to.