Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 27/260: Jacob

Read Genesis 29:1-14

Do What Needs To Be Done

When Jacob met the shepherds near the well, they were waiting for more to arrive so they could remove the stone from the mouth of the well to water their sheep. When Rachel arrived with Laban’s flock, there were still not enough men to move the stone. The very sight of Rachel, however, motivated Jacob to try it himself, and he succeeded. No doubt, God was with him and provided the strength he needed for the task, though Jacob did not acknowledge such.

Do you ever see things that need to be done, and wonder why no one is doing them? There will be times that more people may be needed, but sometimes the lack of activity is due to apathy. “We’re too small and weak” may be nothing more than an excuse. When we read the Scriptures and we see the love of God demonstrated through the death of Jesus (Romans 5:8), shouldn’t we be motivated to try harder?

There are many things to be done in the kingdom that do not require miraculous strength. When is the last time you sent a note to a Christian brother or sister to encourage them? How many neighbors have you invited to study the Bible with you? Have you offered to pick up groceries or prescriptions for an elderly couple? Or asked if you can bring them a homecooked meal? These are relatively small tasks in the grand scheme of things, but they can be extremely uplifting to the recipients of such kindness.

Here’s the point: if you see something that needs to be done, don’t wonder why someone isn’t doing it. Do it yourself! Encourage others to help you if needed, but don’t let someone else’s apathy hold you back.

In addition, though, acknowledge God’s part in whatever you accomplish. This was a failure on Jacob’s part. Even after the heavenly vision at the end of Genesis 28, Jacob still relied on himself more than God.

We can learn all sorts of lessons from people of faith. They serve as good examples many times, but occasionally we can learn from their shortcomings and resolve not to repeat those mistakes in our own lives.

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