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Friday, February 5, 2010

If This is So

Sometimes answers come in odd ways.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know the Bible bugs me sometimes. I run across things which don’t seem to make any sense. Today was Gen 25: 22.

To give you the background, Rebekah is barren so Isaac prays and she conceives. Now, if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss that Rebekah has been barren for at least 18 years. Isaac is 40 when they marry and 60 when Esau and Jacob are born. I assure you, particularly in that culture, Rebekah started worrying about her lack of fertility about six months after she and Isaac married. For years, she has prayed for a child. Years and years and years and years.

She finally gets pregnant and then comes vs. 22. “But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If this is so, why am I this way?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord.” At first glance, it appears she is asking, “If I am pregnant, why am I pregnant?” Well, obviously that can’t be right. What did she mean? In years past, I have pondered this briefly then skipped on because I couldn’t ever come up with something sensible. But it always bugged me.

Today, the answer came to me. Here’s what Rebekah is really asking, “If this is an answer to prayer, why am I in such pain?” Ahh…now there’s a question for you.

Together with the assumption God only answers prayers when He says yes to our requests, there is an equally false presumption answers to prayer come in neat, tidy packages with pretty bows on top. They don’t. Look how perfectly God illustrates this point to us with a woman pregnant with twins.

If this is an answer to prayer:

• Why am I sick to my stomach?
• Why do I feel so lousy?
• Why is there such a huge battle going on inside of me?

I bet you could add your own questions to the list.

Sometimes answers come in ways that hurt, ways you struggle to understand, ways you wrestle with for months on end, ways that make you question God’s provision.

But just because answers come this way does not make them any less an answer to prayer.

Until next time,

Becca

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