A Changed Heart
Today's Reading: Genesis 31-32; Matthew 9:18-38
And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you." So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock, and said to them, "I see your father's countenance, that it is not favorable toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. And you know that with all my might I have served your father. Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me. (Genesis 31:2-7)
God is God and He can change the heart of people for your advantage. Jacob knew that despite all his efforts and hard work, Laban's heart was changing towards him. Jacob described it as "not favorable toward him as before." This would seem like an injustice to Jacob since he had worked for Laban who had deceived him and changed his wages unfairly 10 times. And through it all, Laban was completely blessed because of Jacob. However, for some strange reason, Laban's heart changed towards Jacob and his work. With the unfair treatment and Laban's change of heart, Jacob wanted to move on. Why? Because God wanted Jacob to leave and when leaving, God did not want Jacob to ever look back and regret his decision. So God allowed Laban to test Jacob unfairly and to cause Jacob to desire to leave.
Has this ever happened to you? It happens in all kinds of circumstances where people form close ties that are mutually beneficial. A person's heart can change towards a friend when they fear they are losing something of value, but God can change a heart simply for His purposes, even when the innocent one is treated unfairly. It is hard being the one who is mistreated because the heart of a friend has changed against you. But God knows your heart as well as the heart of your former friend.
If you are finding yourself in this place, completely trust in the Lord. Even though you might not have ever left, He still may change circumstances and hearts to get you to change. Some of us pray for years to have our circumstances change. For others of us, we are so surprised when God intervenes and changes a heart. But if you really examine your prayers, the change should not catch you off guard. God is good like that. You can trust Him. He knows where you need to be and He will perform miracles to get you there.