Read: Habakkuk 2:3 |
“Keep Calm and Carry On” was created as a motivational slogan by the British government in 1939 just as the storms of the Second World War were forming.
With impending mass air attacks on major cities, the pithy slogan was intended to boost the morale of the citizens. [Richard Slocombe, British Posters of the Second World War (London: Imperial War Museum, 2012), p. 6]
Spiritually, the phrase encapsulates how believers should work and weather the storms of life as we wait confidently for God. Keep the faith and Carry on!
Jacob’s first wife Leah encountered a lengthy storm in her marriage. Jacob married Leah only because of her father’s deception. As you may recall, earlier Jacob had swindled his brother Esau out of his birthright. Fearing for his life, his mother convinced him to go to the home of her brother Laban.
In Haran, Jacob met Rachel and was captivated by her beauty. Laban agreed to allow him marry her in return for seven years of labor. However, Laban deceived him by swapping the object of his desire for her older sister Leah. He allowed Jacob to marry Rachel a week later in exchange for another seven years of labor.
Bible translations say “He loved Rachel more..” (Genesis 29:30). However, scholars note a more literal translation might say that he did not love Leah at all.
This gives a completely new meaning to “wedded bliss”! Leah was married to someone that did not want her. For Leah, who lived in the male oriented Jewish culture, what could she do? To whom could she turn?
Keep the Faith and Carry on
Leah decided to turn to God and pray while she waited for Him to answer her plea for her husband’s love. God saw his child and heard her cry. Nonetheless, He did not remove her from her situation. He had a plan, and she was where He needed her to be. Instead, He opened her womb and allowed her to have six sons and one daughter.
Jacob prized the sons. Leah reasoned that, he would surely love her now!
Yet, this did not happen right away. In fact, her marital storms darkened even though Rachel was barren for much of this time.
In the end, though Leah faltered, she kept the faith. She carried on and fulfilled her role as wife and mother. In our lives, we also have to carry on even when we feel battered and tormented. While you weather the storm with God, “Keep the faith and carry on!” His promise is that “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16b)
Stand under His Umbrella
The umbrella is believed to have originated in China. Initially, it was to protect the holder from the sun. In the spiritual sense, the umbrella represents God’s covering over our lives. Jesus, God’s Son, is with us. His love, mercy, grace and provision cover us as we walk with Him. When we venture on our own, we are uncovered.
Leah decided to stay under the umbrella with God while she endured her loveless marriage and prayed for love. God blessed her faithfulness by allowing her and not Rachel to be in the lineage of Jesus. [Family Tree from Abraham to Jesus]
Through her faithfulness, God eventually turned Jacob’s heart to Leah. He loved her more than he had ever loved Rachel. Therefore, He gave his sons instructions to bury him with his forefathers and next to Leah. The unloved wife, won the love and affection of her husband by standing with God.
As we take a stand with God and walk, work and wait with Him, we can indeed carry on His Kingdom’s work. We can weather the storm by staying under His umbrella. As we wait, Keep the faith and carry on!
Note: To read more about Rachel and Leah, check out “Rachel and Leah a tale of two sisters”)
1. Discover –
A. What types of decisions cause you to want to temporarily walk away from God’s umbrella?
B. Ask a prayer partner or accountability partner the same question and see if the answers match!
2. Develop –
A. Give examples of where you were able to “Keep the faith and carry on” when immersed in an undesirable situation and awaiting God’s answer.
B. Give examples of the above where you were not able to “Keep the faith and carry on”. What changed?
3. Demonstrate –
A. The umbrella doesn’t make the storm go away as Leah discovered. What do others see in you when you are weathering a storm? Are you keeping the faith and carrying on?
B. What Bible characters come to mind that demonstrated this principle the best? How can you model some of their characteristics?
Profiles on Waiting Outline
Postures we should adopt when waiting for/with/upon God
1. Wait on Time (link)
2. Watch for Him (link)
3. Wait by walking within Touching Distance (link)
4. Work while waiting upon God’s Answer (link)
5. Willful Waiting does not Wilt (link)
6. Weather the Storms while waiting under His Umbrella (link)
7. Wait with an Unwavering Faith (link)