by Mary Vee
Jacob wiped the sweat from his brow. One of the shepherds sighed. "Sure is hot today."
Jacob glanced back across the pasture toward the house and noticed his sons playing a game. "The Lord has bless me with many sons in such short time."
The shepherd sat on a nearby rock. "I remember the day Reuben was born. Leah was so surprised she shouted, 'Look! I have a son!'"
Jacob leaned against his staff. "He was barely walking when Simeon was born. Those boys sure kept Leah busy. They fought like two lion cubs."
The shepherd smiled. "Since then Levi and Judah, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher, Issachar and Zebulun joined your family. Sure is a healthy bunch of boys."
"True." Jacob picked up his staff and guided a lamb back to the flock. "When I'm released from my service to Laban, I'll set up a home back in the land God gave to my family. With the help of those boys, we should live as kings."
The shepherd swallowed some water and stood. "Look, there's your little girl toddling out to the boys. She'd better watch out or they'll run into her."
Jacob laughed. "Oh, don't worry about Dinah. She's a tough girl. If she isn't near the action, she cries. Even at her young age she demands the best and the most popular things."
Jacob wiped the sweat again and returned to his work. The wind whistled through the trees and the sheep bleated. Through the sounds he heard his name and turned.
A servant ran toward him. "Jacob, Jacob"
The servant stood for a second and caught his breath. "Your wife, Rachel, has given birth to a son. She said to tell you--his name is 'Joseph'"
Jacob leaped and clapped his hands. "A son? My beautiful Rachel has given me a son? I've waited so long for a son from her."
The servant smiled. "Yes. His name is Joseph."
Jacob ran back to the house laughing. "My Rachel has given me a son. My beautiful Rachel has given me a son."
The nurse greeted him by the door. "Shhh! You'll scare the baby."
Jacob crept closer to his son. He touched the baby's hand. "Tomorrow, my little one, ends the seven years of service to your grandfather. It's time we go to the land God has given to our family, don't you think?"
Baby Joseph squeaked then yawned. Jacob smiled. "My son."
The next day, Jacob met with Laban. "The time has come, Uncle. I've served my seven years as we agreed. You know I've done honest work that has prospered you. I want to take my wives and children back to the land God has given my family."
Laban trembled. He stepped closer to Jacob. "No. Please stay. Please, if I have found any favor in your eyes. Jacob, my son, I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me because of your you. You must stay. You could raise your family here with us."
Laban set his arm on Jacob's shoulder. "Name you price. I'll pay anything. Only, please stay."
What will Jacob do? Should he stay at his uncle's and continue working for him or should he go back to the land God gave his family? Will Laban lie to him again?
Some decisions are hard to make. We might wonder which choice we should make. What could we do to help us decide?