One of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of living a healthy, happy, and abundant life is that big looming question that keeps us up at night: “What if?” How many times have you asked “what if…” and imagined a negative outcome without even realizing it? This thought can consume our thinking, but it’s really no more than a fear of the unknown. Learning more about what actually is will destroy the fear of “what if?”
In the Bible, Jacob had to deal with one of those sleepless nights, grappling with the question of “what if?” Years before, he had stolen his brother Esau’s birthright and ran away from home. Esau was so mad that he threatened to take his brother’s life. After many years, both brothers found success and prosperity, and Jacob felt it was time to return home.
As Jacob was journeying back to the country from which he came, word came that Esau was coming to meet him. Jacob was afraid that Esau might still want to enact the revenge he had sworn against him. The night before the two were to meet, Jacob found himself wrestling with a man in the dark. When it was almost daybreak, the man realized that Jacob had won, so he wrenched Jacob’s hip out of socket and asked Jacob to let him go. Jacob said he wouldn’t let him go, not until the man blessed him. The man relented and said “Your name will no longer be Jacob, … from now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
In that moment Jacob realized that it wasn’t a man he had been wrestling with all night, but an angel sent by God. Jacob’s struggle was between the fear of “what if?” and the knowledge of what is. Through battling with the angel, Jacob had to learn that God, good, is all. Nothing Jacob or Esau did could change that. By not giving up, and by struggling through his fear of the material evidence before him, Jacob was able to lift his thought higher to a spiritual plane where the death and destruction he was imagining couldn’t possibly happen. Jacob gained a clearer sense of God as Love. Then it was easy to see that Jacob and Esau’s relationship was healed.
The discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation.” Prior to being blessed by the angel, Jacob was under the impression that he and his brother were material men vying for the same material resources, the same birthright. Through trial and tribulation he learned that God gave them their birthright, not their material father.
When the brothers finally met, Esau greeted Jacob with a kiss. No more animosity existed between the two. The next time you catch yourself entertaining a worrying idea about the future, don’t listen to it. Have faith that God provides us with only good outcomes.