“So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, and they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” Genesis 29:20.
This beautiful passage describes one of the Bible’s greatest love stories: the story of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob had just recently left his home because he had tricked his brother, Esau, out of his birthright. Jacob was now out in the world, all alone, and looking for a place to live and work.
As fate would have it, Jacob came across a man named Laban, who had many herds and needed workers to tend to his animals. Jacob got the job, and while he was working for Laban, Jacob met Rachel–Laban’s daughter. Jacob fell deeply in love with Rachel and asks Laban for her hand in marriage. Laban agreed to the marriage, only if Jacob agreed to work for him for seven years. Jacob did, and the years “seemed like only a few days.”
When Jacob fulfills the seven years, the marriage takes place, only for Jacob to realize he’s married Rachel’s older sister, Leah. Jacob confronts Laban, Laban tells Jacob to work seven more years for Rachel, and Jacob does. In all, Jacob works fourteen years to marry Rachel. He did it all because he loved her so deeply.
What does this Old Testament love story have to do with anything? The first thing we have to remember is that we are on God’s schedule, not our own. So often we go through life making plans and becoming frustrated with they don’t fall into place quickly enough. We demand that God grant us patience, but we do not enjoy it when He makes us build and grow that patience. We, more or less, want our cake and to eat it too.
Waiting is one of life’s most unbearable tasks. We live in an age in which the world is at our fingertips and we can have nearly anything we want in a matter of seconds. As result, the human attention span is growing shorter and shorter. Every day we must remind ourselves that we do not operate on the world’s schedule, or even our own schedule, but on God’s. He will bring everything into place in His due time. If we trust in Him and keep our minds on whatever task we have at hand, the time we spend waiting will also seem like only a few days.