“‘What’ and ‘if,’ two words as non-threatening as words come. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: ‘What if?’…”
“I don’t know how your story ended. But I know that if what you felt then was love – true love – then it’s never too late. If it was true then why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart…”
“I don’t know what a love like that feels like… a love to leave loved ones for, a love to cross oceans for… but I’d like to believe if I ever felt it, I’d have the courage to seize it. I hope you had the courage to seize it, Claire. And if you didn’t, I hope one day that you will.”-Letters to Juliet
You may have seen the movie Letters to Juliet. I have not, yet, but from what I have heard described, it is a beautiful movie regarding the separation of those who love.
This topic is very interesting to me personally, and even today, I was meditating on how far can human love be separated before it is forgotten, and if that is even possible, what can separate us from the love of God? We know the answer to the second part of the question…absolutely nothing.
Because of the desire to include a Biblical application I began to inquire what characters in scripture best bring out the concept of separated love. One great example is Jacob and Rachel.
In a collective research of Jacob, he seemed to be a bit of a show-off, being quite confident of himself. Their first encounter Jacob moves a giant stone and then kisses her! Quite an impression he was making right from the start. This is a great example of love at first sight and love… making you do crazy things!
Although, I think infatuation would be a better term used here, but we’ll go with love. It makes for a better story. Jacob stated that Rachel had a lovely physical appearance and was beautiful. He was immediately drawn to her and stated that he loved her. Their little romance was off to a great start. Rachel did not have to question where Jacob stood and what he wanted. Not one bit. Jacob knew exactly what he wanted and was willing to wait seven long years to see it come to pass. That’s love, and as I Corinthians says, true love is patient.
Over those seven years is when Jacob really fell in love with Rachel. The scripture says “it seemed like only a few days” to him. That is a remarkable statement. He was initially enamored with her and that grew into love. A deep, big love. And Jacob approached the wedding to Rachel with great anticipation.
However, the wedding veil that night must have been pretty dadgum thick to not see he was marrying the ugly sister! (Harsh statement yes, but it’s right there in the Bible.)
As a man this saddens me for Jacob. He had waited so long, remember, seven years, to be with the woman he truly loved and then to find out those years of waiting had been in vain!
You know the story could have ended right there. But because of the what if’s…what if Jacob had settled for Leah and not pursued the woman he loved so much? I think this happens a lot today. Well intentioned people just “settle” because they are not willing to wait, for a number of reasons. Some people are just impatient, (I fall into this category), others may feel that they do not deserve the best. God always intends for us to live out our best, but often, because of our own choices, God’s best does not happen. But that is not where the story ended. Nope. Not for Jacob and Rachel.
Jacob goes to Rachel and Leah’s father, Laban, and he tells Jacob in order to marry Rachel, who was the younger daughter, he would have to take Leah as a wife also, and then agree to work another seven years to have Rachel.
At this point I do not feel to go into detail about Jacob “laying with” Leah, the maidservants and Rachel. You Bible students can study up on that.
However, we’ve got to get to the end of this incredible love story. What if Rachel’s bitterness had been too great? What if she would not have offered a maidservant to Jacob? What if God had not had compassion on her and not given Rachel any children? What if? What if? What if? Rachel was able to give birth and eventually died during childbirth. Jacob loved her for the rest of HIS life! Even after all of her bitterness, discontentment and schemes he STILL loved Rachel!
What if this had not all happened as it did. Then historically, the world, and certainly the history of our faith would have been much different.
So, are the “what if’s” in your life so important? Absolutely. Everyone that comes behind you is hanging in the balance.
Heavy? Yes. Inescapable? No.
(A Ghost Writer)