I don’t know how it is in other countries, but in the UK at the moment, it feels like ‘the rich get richer and the poor get nothing’, as the song puts it. As an ordinary person, you begin to feel that you are just a date of birth and a national insurance number. And especially if that date of birth is on the earlier side!
Jacob felt very small! All his achievements back at Paddan Aram faded into history as he contemplated the challenge ahead. He had to meet up with his brother Esau, whom he had cheated out of his birthright and blessing, and who had threatened to murder him; it was a terrifying prospect (Genesis 32:3-12).
First Jacob put on a show of wealth, and sent messengers to go and greet Esau, and tell him how prosperous his little brother had become in all those intervening years. “I am of value because I have lots of stuff,” is what Jacob was really trying to say.
Then the message came back – Esau was on his way with four hundred men. Serious panic. “He is of value because he is powerful, and has lots of friends,” is what Jacob was saying to himself then.
But then Jacob prayed, asking God for help and reminding him of the promise he had made all those years ago, that he would prosper, and have descendants ‘like the sand of the sea which cannot be counted’. Jacob realized his value was not in how much he owned, nor in how powerful he was, but because God considered him of value.
So when the authorities, or your employer, or some health care worker makes you feel small, just tell yourself that God values you enough to send Jesus. He loves you enough to let him die for you, and in his eyes you’re worth it. Do you agree with him?