Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you have another son.” As she breathed her last – for she was dying – she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
Sometimes going through change is like we’re dying to ourselves. Psychologists say that when change takes place there’s a grieving process that we must walk out.
The fact is that we can’t stop change from happening. The only thing we have control over is our attitude. It’s how we deal with change that makes all the difference.
In this Scripture, Jacob and his family were “on the road” when his wife Rachel died in childbirth. If anyone could have had a reason for bitterness, he did. But he didn’t wallow in self-pity. She named the child Ben-Oni, which means, the son of my trouble. The hurt of that day would have followed the child for his entire life.
Instead, Jacob immediately changed the boy’s name to Benjamin, the son of my right hand. He released the pain into God’s hand. I don’t know what you’re going through right now. But if there’s a great change you’re grieving over – give it to God.
Only the Lord can bring you through. As you spend time in His presence you’re allowing Him to turn your Ben-Oni into a Benjamin.
So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.
Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.
There are many changes that are hard to deal with. That’s why it’s so important to work on our attitudes during those times.
When God speaks to our hearts as we’re quiet before Him, He may require us to make a great change in our lives. Sometimes the change is so big, that it may seem that our old way of life has died and we’ve been reborn to a new way of living. It’s like our life is going through a huge makeover.
It’s essential that we learn to bury the “old man” and then move on. Unless we leave the past behind, we can never enter His future.
One of the ways Jacob moved on was in the setting up of a pillar – a memorial – to remind him of what happened. You could set up a “memorial stone” as well, by commenting in your journal or placing a sticky note in your Bible. It could be a kind of tombstone for your old way of living.
God wants to bring you from glory to glory but you’ll have to leave your old self behind. Change is really the only constant in life. Either you’re going through it right now or you will in the near future.
Make the choice now to rely on God’s grace in times of change. Be willing and ready to accept His leading, whatever form it may take. Only then will change do its work and make you a better, stronger person.
Question: What are the changes God is leading you through right now?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015