Jacob faced an identity crisis. For years he was known as the younger of a set of twins, grasping at his brother’s heel for the role of first born. His mother, Rebekah, favored him over his brother and sought to secure a blessing for him, regardless of the cost. She spent Jacob’s formative years into adulthood trying to make him into the man she wanted him to be.
For a long time, Jacob played into that. He took on those same desires and pushed the boundaries in an attempt to be someone he wasn’t. Jacob’s identity was wrapped into his mother’s view of him and who she pushed him to be.
This all changed in Genesis 27 when Jacob steals the blessing meant for his brother. As a result of his decision and deceit, he flees from the only home and family he has known. It’s here Jacob must come to grips regarding who he is. Does he carry the labels he’s had into the new world or does he make a choice to be the man he wants to be?
God takes Jacob through a trying but incredibly beneficial season to discover who he really is and what he’s really meant to do. He receives similar treatment and deceit from his father-in-law that he himself dished out, which I’m sure was a huge wake-up call to the kind of person he wanted to be.
Jacob faced an identity crisis in adulthood and he chose to no longer accept the labels placed on him but to become the man he felt he really was and who God said he should be. In fact, he wrestled with God in his new identity and walked away a different person.
Jacob was labeled “heel grabber” when he was born, but after his wrestle with God, his name changed. The label that had defined him for so long was stripped and what was left was his true identity and purpose–to be the father of a nation.
As you read this, you’ve begun your own journey of identity. Will you continue to live life with the labels placed upon you or do you choose to explore and embrace the real you?