Sitting down and doing nothing, that may be somewhat an easy thing to do. Waiting for something that isn’t coming anytime soon can be difficult especially when you don’t have a direct hand in producing what you have been longing for. Then we talk about patience. During those times of earnest wait we are inwardly in haste for the wait to end. This may result in anger depending on the severity of the need. Now patience, I know it is a really hard thing to act out. But the smile at the end is what is most rewarding. During the period of wait, there is an assurance-the assurance- that an expected end will be met.

Let’s look at this story here. It may be familiar to some of you. If not you better read it. A lot (of “sleeping”) goes on in it though. But let’s not focus there. The story begins with a young man named Jacob. He saw a woman named Rachel. He loved her so much. But her father-Laban-told him he had to serve him-Rachel’s father-for seven years before she could be given to him. Even six months would be a problem for most of us in this era. But he loved her and obliged. During the seven years of toil, anything could have happened but his faith kept him going. He pictured his end buttressed with an inextinguishable flame of faith.

Then the day of jolly came. Perhaps he couldn’t sleep on the night the seventh year fell. He woke up very early with the greatest joy.

Gen 29:21, “Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her.”

The manner with which he asked for his wife showed his urge. His face was soaked with disbelief only to be told Rachel is younger and it is their tradition to give the first daughter-Leah-to marriage before any other. Jacob was deceived. And it was for seven long years of hard toil. Then Laban was like:

Gen 29:27, “Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”

(Alternative guessed reaction: “…you can’t be serious! So you mean to tell me I have to do another seven years? And all that time you made a slave out of me…”, now picture the reaction of a thug who was just duped and ready too pop a few rounds… or an Arsenal fan’s reaction to Wenger anytime they get to the round of 16 of the Champion’s League…)

Some of us (men) would probably cuss out at her dad and given up on her but this man knew what he wanted. He did another seven and was rewarded with Rachel (plus another maidservant). Love is patient. (My reply to escape buying her a Valentine’s day present, worked so far)

The waiting story now switched to Rachel. Their-Jacob and Rachel-case worsened when Leah gave birth to more than two children, Leah’s maidservant and Rachel’s maidservant gave birth as well. Now Rachel became the odd one. For years she had to wait. She had to wait for Leah, her sister to give birth to six children. She had to wait for her maidservant as well as her sister’s to give birth. All that time she waited and when God opened her womb she gave birth to a great, named Joseph.

Their-Jacob and Rachel’s-patience in all those years is really difficult to emulate. But it was worth it considering the future story of their son.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride”.

Where did Abraham’s faith end him? The father of many nations. Noah, this man could have heeded to the words of his critiques, but his faith and a final expectation saw the survival of his family, the animals of this world and his own life. Mary had to go wandering with Joseph. Imagine a pregnant woman on the verge of birth looking for a place to give birth. And what about Job’s story, that’s worth emulating. A lot more people have stories worth following. On a lighter note, Cristiano Ronaldo’s “calma calma” goal celebration, now that’s also worth emulating.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe

Love is patient, be patient with love.