Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Others Centered or Self Centered"

"By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff." Hebrews 11:21

"When he was dying". Jacob was dying. He was coming to the end of his life. The scriptures tell us that Jacob was sick and seemed to be pretty much bedridden. "And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed." (Genesis 48:1,2) He was struggling with the weakness of an aging body and sickness. He had reached the point where he needed help to even stand- "leaning upon the top of his staff." Yet even while he was facing death, we see him doing something that was so note worthy that it is recorded in the scriptures.

Even in his weakened condition, even though he was facing death, even though he was unable to do very much, he did not just lay down and give up. He didn't just lay there and feel sorry for himself- although because of his condition he would have been justified in doing so. Instead he "blessed both the sons of Joseph and worshipped".

He doesn't sound like most of us. We get in situations- not even as serious as life and death- and we do nothing. We tend to become "self absorbed". When we are going through trying times it becomes "all about us"- what we feel, what is happening to us, what is effecting my life. We seem to get introverted and focus more on what we are suffering or going through than on anything else. This was not the case with Jacob. Was he going through difficulty? Was he suffering weakness? Was he staring death in the face? Yes to all, yet he was focused on something besides himself-- he was focused on blessing the sons of Joseph and his worship to God. He didn't let what he was going through hinder him from doing either even though it took quiet some effort to do it.

Are you letting your circumstances and the situation you are facing hinder, or even stop, you from being a blessing to someone else? Are you letting it hinder your worship to the Lord? Are you saying to yourself, "When everything straightens out and gets back to normal, I will lift up my voice in praise, I will then worship the Lord. When this trial is over, then I will serve the Lord and bless others."? The time to do it is not "after" it is over but "during" the trial. Jacob didn't, he couldn't, ignore what was happening to him, yet in spite of it he was still serving the Lord by blessing and being a blessing. We can't ignore our trials but we don't have to be dictated by them and allow them to stop us from doing what we need to do-- bless others and worship the Lord.

Have a great day. Are you allowing your trials to cause you to become focused on self and not on blessing others and worshipping the Lord?

For further reading:
Acts 16:25
Luke 10:27

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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