This morning we were in a bit of a rush to get ready to visit my mum. We were slightly behind schedule as I was just tidying away the last bits from breakfast. I opened the fridge, and out jumped a can, with a tiny amount of tomato and juice left in the bottom. It virtually exploded! How did such a small amount of tomato juice manage to paint so many areas!?! My new woollen jacket was dripping in the stuff, and so were my trousers. My shoes were covered, the floor was covered, the fridge was covered, and it was splattered up the wall several feet away. Where to start? If I moved, I would just spread it further! But gradually, bit by bit, I managed to clean it up. How did we manage before the days of kitchen towel? I went and got changed, and finally we got going, considerably later than planned. But there you go! Life doesn’t always go to plan.
Things certainly did not go to plan for Jacob. For seven years he had set his heart on the girl of his dreams. He so looked forward to the day he could make her his bride, and set up home with her. The day arrived and the celebrations took place. He took her home joyfully to seal their union, and woke the next morning, only to discover he’d got the wrong girl! (Genesis 29:21-30) That puts a tomato-juice-shower in perspective!
Eventually, Jacob did get his lovely wife Rachel, and there was some compensation from Laban’s trickery. Jacob ended up with twelve sons from his two wives and their maids, not just the two that Rachel managed to produce, and these of course were the forefathers of the twelve tribes of Israel. So in the end it worked out better than planned.
Vexations come along in life, and we have to learn to go with the flow. If it can’t be helped, what’s the point in getting upset? And how do we know if the change to our plans is not the work of the Holy Spirit? Maybe we are getting all cross and bothered when God is trying to do something else in our lives! If we believe he is working things together for our good, then we need to trust him even when things go wrong, and even we can’t see any redemptive purpose in our difficulty.
So was there some amazing miraculous outcome from my brush with the tomatoes? Only that when I related the tale to my sister, she recalled the day of her 40th wedding anniversary, when, in her beautiful new outfit the same thing happened with a large tub of cream, which covered her from the head down! We had a good giggle…and life goes on!