Tears of Joy

“When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.”—Genesis 29:10–12 (NIV)

Have you ever wept for joy? I remember going to one of my best friend’s weddings, and as soon as he saw his bride-to-be, he began to sob loudly when he laid his eyes on her as the reality of what was happening truly set in.

In today’s passage, we see the moment when Jacob first lays eyes on Rachel. First, we’re told he rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. The Cambridge Bible commentary notes, “Jacob disregards the rule of the well; and at the risk of incurring the wrath of the local herdsmen and shepherds, by a feat of great personal strength.” The mere sight of Rachel gave him a crazy adrenaline boost! Now that’s love at first sight!

Then, he kissed her on the cheek and wept loudly. Think about this moment for him. Jacob fled his home under fear of death from his vengeful, angry brother Esau. He was sent to Paddan Aram to find a bride. And on the way, God gives him a dream, reaffirming the covenant made with his grandfather Abraham and father Isaac. I believe that in this dream and in this moment, the gospel was revealed to Jacob, just as it had been revealed to Abraham (John 8:56; Galatians 3:8). Thus, through this dream God reassures Jacob that he can rest in His promises and that God had an amazing future and legacy in store for him. And wouldn’t you know it . . . the moment Jacob shows up in Paddan Aram, he sees Rachel, and the reality of all God had promised began to unfold before his very eyes moving him to tears.

Have you ever experienced when God making tangible the promises He has for you and the good works He’s prepared in advance for you to walk in? For me, it was the day I got to walk forward with my seven-year-old son as he gave his life to Jesus. Maybe for you it was being part of a life-changing mission trip, seeing a friend or family member come to Jesus, being healed from a sickness or addiction, or personally leading someone to Jesus.

Moments like these fill us with joy and purpose. They give us a renewed strength to do things, say things, and go places in the power of the Spirit we didn’t think possible. I pray that as you walk with Jesus and grow in your faith, that you’ll get to experience these moments of joyful purpose and destiny as you share in that joy with the Holy Spirit who moves and works in them.

DIG: Why did Jacob weep loudly?

DISCOVER: How has God shown Himself and His faithfulness in your life?

DO: Ask the Lord to provide you with opportunities to carry out His good work and use you for His purposes.