By Mary Vee
Before Jacob knew it, days passed by. He enjoyed staying at Uncle Laban's house.
He finished his breakfast and greeted his uncle. "Good morning. Would you mind if I helped with the sheep today? You've given me a place to stay and food, the least I could do is lend a hand."
Laban smiled. "That would be fine."
Jacob joined the other shepherds. He noticed some problems and offered easier ways to do the job. The shepherds seemed pleased.
After dinner, Laban walked with Jacob in the fields. "The shepherds tell me you did a fine job today. They say you have new ideas to share."
"I enjoyed helping. The days have been boring without anything to do."
Laban nodded. "Work is good."
Each night Laban walked with Jacob. They talked about their day, but mostly Jacob did all the talking, suggesting new ideas to increase the flock.
After Jacob had lived at his uncle's for a month, Laban met with him. "You're doing a great job. Much more than I expected."
Jacob hardly knew what to say. "I like working here. I can't explain why, but these ideas keep popping in my head...ideas to make things work better for the flock. It must be God who is helping me."
Laban nodded. "I agree. Anyway, you've been here all this time and haven't received any wage. I feel guilty. Just because you're a relative doesn't mean you should not be paid. Tell, me, what payment do you want?"
Jacob looked back at the house. He watched Leah broom the entryway to the house. He then looked through the window and saw Rachel washing dishes. Leah has pretty eyes, but Rachel is beautiful.
"I've decided what I'd like, Uncle. I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter."
Laban stroke his beard. "It's better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. All right, you have my blessing. At the end of seven years, you shall have your wage."
With Laban's permission, Jacob used the ideas God continued to give him. Not only did the flocks increase, but so did everything else. Laban grew richer and richer.
Each day of the seven years seemed like a puff of breath to Jacob. On the last day he looked up from his work and saw the sun getting ready to set. "Already? This day is over, already?"
When he walked with Laban that night he turned to him and said, "I have finished the seven years. I've earned the right to marry Rachel."
Laban lifted his head. "So you have." He glanced back at the house where Rachel and Leah were working. "Hmmm, I'll arrange for the wedding to take place tomorrow."
Jacob smiled. "Thank you, Uncle."
During these seven years, Jacob learned the importance of working hard. Laban was pleased with his work. When you work hard, doing the job you're asked to do, God is pleased with you and will bless you. Think of some work you did today or yesterday. Did your finished job make someone happy? Did any one say anything to you?
I did a new job yesterday, I really tried hard. Even though I made a few mistakes I felt really happy on the inside because I know I did my very best. God gave me that happy feeling and he helped others to notice as well. How about you?