The following is a powerful and simple reminder of where our joy and rest comes from, God alone.
From A.W. Pink:
In our last article we followed Jacob as he left his father’s house and commenced his long journey to Padan-aram where lived Laban, his mother’s brother. On his first night out from Beersheba he lit upon a certain place and making a pillar of the stones lay down to sleep. Then it was that he dreamed, and in the dream the Lord appeared unto him, probably for the first time in his life, and after promising to give him the land whereon he lay and to make his seed as numerous as the dust of the earth and a blessing to all families, he received the comforting assurance that God would be with him, would keep him in all places whither he went, and ultimately bring him back again to the land given to him and his fathers. In the morning Jacob arose, poured oil on the stone pillar, and named the place Bethel, which means “The House of God.”
The effect of this experience on Jacob is briefly but graphically signified in the opening words of Genesis 29, where we read, “Then Jacob lifted up his feet, and came into the land of the people of the East” (marginal rendering). The heaviness with which he must have left home had now gone. Assured of the abiding presence and protection of Jehovah, he went on his way light-heartedly. It deserves to be noted that the journey which Jacob had scarcely begun the previous day was an arduous and difficult one. From Beersheba, Isaac’s dwelling-place, to Padan-Aram, his destination, was a distance of something like five hundred miles, and when we remember that he was on foot and alone we can the better appreciate the blessed grace of Jehovah which met the lonely fugitive the first night, and gave him the comforting promise that He was with him and would keep him in all places whither he went (Gen. 28:15). Little wonder, then, that now Jacob goes forth so confidently and cheerfully. As a Jewish commentator remarks, “His heart lifted up his feet.” And, reader, do not we need to be reminded that our Lord has promised, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end”? If our hearts drew from this cheering and inspiring promise the comfort and incentive it is designed to convey should not we “lift up” our feet as we journey through this world? Oh! it is unbelief, failure to rest upon the “exceeding great and precious promises” of our God, and forgetfulness that He is ever by our side, that makes our feet leaden and causes us to drag along so wearily.
The remainder of the long journey seems to have passed without further incident, for the next thing we read of is that Jacob had actually come into that land which he sought. And here we find a striking proof that the Lord was with him indeed, for he was guided to a well where he met none other than the daughter of the very man with whom he was going to make his home! It was not by chance that Jacob lit upon that well in the field, nor was it by accident that Rachel came to that well just when she did. There are no chance-happenings or accidents in a world that is governed by God. It was not by chance that the Ishmaelites passed by when the brethren of Joseph were plotting his death, nor was it an accident they were journeying down to Egypt. It was not by chance that Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the river to bathe, and that one of her attendants discovered there the infant Moses in the ark of bullrushes. It was not by chance that upon a certain night, critical in the history of Israel, that Ahasuerus was unable to sleep and that he should arise and read the state-records which contained an entry of how Mordecai had foiled an attempt on the King’s life, which led, in turn, to the saving of Mordecai’s life. So, we say, it was not by chance that Jacob now met Rachel. No; we repeat, there cannot be any chance-happenings in a world that is governed by God, still less can there be any accidents in the lives of those He is constantly “with.” My reader, there are no chance-happenings, no chance-meetings, no chance delays, no chance losses, no chance anythings in our lives. All is of Divine appointment.
The above is from A.W. Pink’s Gleanings in Genesis (Chapter 30, Jacob At Padan-Aram). May God grant us faith and joy (and thankful hearts) for his provision in all things. May we find rest in knowing that he appointed all things for his own glory.