Learning a language is like working for Rachel

Learning a new language to bring the gospel to a new people is a little bit like Jacob working to marry Rachel.

It can seem so long, so trying, and even counter-productive or irresponsible.

I mean after all, Jacob was just hidden away, toiling for 7 years, and then 7 more, just to get some girl!? Wasn’t there something more productive he could have done with his time? Or couldn’t he have found someone else and gotten married sooner?

In the same way, there are so many other good, productive things that could be done by a young servant trying to break into the language of some far-away people. Spending 2 years doing that means 2 years not doing some other great thing. And the language learning process can be so trying, frustrating, and even humiliating.

But like Jacob, the cross-cultural messenger is driven by a love and passion that makes the months and years melt away. He’s working for a beautiful bride. And so he’s determined to turn away from other opportunities, to bunker down, and to put in the necessary labor.

It’s not a waste of time, and it is worth the best of our years.

We’re not actually marrying the bride we’re working for, but we do get to share in our master’s joy as a friend of the bridegroom. And somehow, that makes it all worth it.

Plus… there’s all kinds of joy in the labour itself.

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