Isaac and Rebekah were literally a match made in heaven! I love how their relationship began with the prayers of a father, then the miraculous set up for the servant at the well (with all the camels), the willingness of Rebekah and her family to say “Yes” to God’s plan (she agreed to leave her whole life behind with just a few hours notice!) and then chapter 25 finishes with this;
“ Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her…” v67
The path to love can be an unpredictable one. Each story is unique. I do love a good romance though and I always love a “happy ever after” ending ….. except this is a true, real life story and so the ‘riding their camel happily off into the sunset together’ moment was not the end of their journey. The next chapter of Isaac and Rebekah’s story is one that involved almost 20 years of infertility. Don’t you find it funny how the bible zooms in and out with regard to details and timescales? Somethings are described in minute by minute accounts with extraordinary attention to detail, and then the next moment two decades of struggle is summed up with a “because she was childless.” Seems somewhat brief. Isaac knows where to go with his struggle though and he prays for his wife. God answers his prayer, and doesn’t just respond with one baby – but a double portion of ‘blessing’ when she conceives twins.
Have you seen those cute videos on the internet where there are newborn twins who are all snuggled up together, comforted by each other’s company and sharing a special and deep bond? Well that isn’t Rebekah’s babies! When journaling this page I chose clashing colours of orange and pink for the clashing twins in her womb. The poor girl is so uncomfortable with their “jostling” that she asks “Why is this happening to me?” It’s a question that we all ask at one time or another especially when we are living in the promises of God, the miraculous answer to prayer – surely it should be easier than this?! What makes Rebekah so wonderful in this story is that she takes her “why?” and enquired of the Lord. And God answers her, giving insight into her sons.
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.” Gen 25:23
I remember living in a moment like this when my 3rd baby was just a few weeks old. She was very unsettled with horrible colic and I was exhausted from very little sleep. One particular day she had cried non-stop for hours and wouldn’t let me put her down. I was at the end of myself. I flopped down on the sofa in the corner of my lounge with her on my chest and cried out to God “Why is she like this? Third children are supposed to fit in!” Immediately God began to speak to my heart about how He had made her not to fit in but to swim against the flow. Even as a baby her temperament and voice were part of how God had designed her, and His design was with purpose! He reminded me that her name means noble and strong and that strength was for her to walk in her calling. Now don’t get me wrong it was still hard work in the following weeks and months but for me there was a change of perspective – I got a little glimpse of God’s design and plan so I understood her better. And with that came grace. I’m so glad I took that moment to ask God “why?” It makes me wonder why I don’t take my whys to Him every time? And my what’s, when’s, who’s and how’s for that matter.
“Why is this happening me?” is a question that can take us to two different places. There is a danger that if we hold on to it that it can take us down the route of feeling sorry for ourselves and into self-pity. This is a spectacularly unproductive place where we become the victim of our circumstances instead of the victor God has called us to be. Rebekah’s “Why is this happening to me?” caused her to “enquire” of the Lord. My dictionary defines the word “enquire” as asking for information or investigating. I think there is a different heart behind seeking God for answers than that of protesting out of self-pity. Sometimes our questions are given straight answers and sometimes God gives us grace for the season of waiting for the answer. He always hears us though and James 1:5 tells us;
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
What an incredible promise – if we need wisdom because we don’t understand the “why” then we can ask Him and he will give generously! Dear friends I don’t know what your story looks like at the moment – perhaps you are on the unpredictable path to love or maybe you missed a turning? Maybe you are still waiting for God to answer your prayers or like Rebekah struggling with infertility? Perhaps you have received your miracle but are finding pregnancy or new-born baby stage more challenging than you had expected? It might be you are facing grief or loneliness or an unwelcome diagnosis? Each of our journeys are as unique as we are and our stories will be unlike anyone else’s but we will all have chapters sometimes where we ask “why is this happening to me?” My prayer this week for you is that you will find opportunity to take your questions to Him who has loved you with an everlasting love and that you would find comfort and strength, wisdom and perspective, lots of grace from Him who has great plans to do you good. Thanks so much for reading, much love Rach x
For more on this story from Katy check out Two …