I believe that we are born with a natural tendency to doubt. When I was five, my parents arranged a family day at the beach. My cousins and sisters found their way into the water quite comfortably. I didn’t know how to swim, so I played with sand on the shore. I felt safe sitting in the sand, bathed in sunscreen, building my sand castle.
As I put the finishing touches on my masterpiece, an uncle interrupted my play with a question: “Do you know how to swim?” I looked up, trying to avoid the rays of the sun, and replied, “No.” He picked me up in his strong arms and, in spite of my resistance, assured me that he would not let me drown. I didn’t have much of a choice. He held my right hand with his left and wrapped his right arm around my body securely. My fear of the deep and my fear of drowning soon dissipated as he held me close and allowed me to hang on.
Abraham is up in years; he wants to secure a wife and family for his son Isaac. He sends his trusted servant to seek a wife for Isaac. In the verses that immediately precede today’s passage, Abraham’s servant has met a lovely young woman at the well, a woman who offers him the hospitality of a drink of water and a place to stay for him and his animals. He “gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.” Perceiving the enormity of the task before him, the servant will not eat until he tells of his errand. Trusting that God will guide him in order to accomplish what his master has asked of him, he commits his way to the Lord, trusts him, and knows he will act. (See Psalm 37:5.) May we be so obedient and discerning.
Dear Lord, give us the determination and the disposition we need to commit our ways to you, trusting and knowing that you will act. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
The Genesis text tells of Abraham’s quest to find a bride for Isaac from among his own people. In opting for Isaac, Rebekah makes herself the instrument for the preservation of the promise; God’s intentions are sure. A hymn honoring the marriage commitment is a good pairing with Genesis, since the Song of Solomon addresses the sweetness of love. Romans 7 depicts a battle of human life. Here the strong desire to do good and serve God rightly is threatened by the enemy of sin. Jesus’ prayer in Matthew recalls that knowledge of sin’s defeat often comes to those “infants” to whom God has granted revelation.
• Read Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67. How difficult is it for you to trust that God will act for your good, even if you nd yourself waiting?
• Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13. Whose voice have you known as beloved? How did it waken you to creation’s beauty?
• Read Romans 7:15-25a. How might you let God’s understanding love make a change in your actions?
• Read Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30. Jesus offers rest for our souls. How do you tap into that wonderful offer?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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