My Bible reading this morning from Genesis 25 was very applicable to my own personal situation, and I wonder if it might be to yours as well. The chapter says that after Isaac prayed for Rebekah, who had been unable to have children, she was finally with child. But verse 22 says, “the children struggled together within her, and she said, ‘If it is so, why then am I this way?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord.”
This says something important about Rebekah. I had never considered Rebekah to be a great woman of faith, but in this recent reading in Genesis, I have seen otherwise. Can you imagine the faith it took for her to leave her home and go – sight unseen! – with Abraham’s servant to marry Isaac? That was a step of faith like unto what Abraham himself took, when “he went out, not knowing where he was going” at God’s bidding. Rebekah was a woman of like faith, and she demonstrated that further in this passage as well. When she felt the children struggling within her during her pregnancy, she asked, “WHY then am I this way?” In other words, she wanted to know the reason behind what was happening to her.
This is a mark of a person of faith. A person of faith believes in God, and so trusts that there is a purpose behind everything that happens to them. A person of faith is not content just to “endure” whatever comes to pass – unbelievers, and even unthinking animals do that! No, the person of faith looks for the deeper meaning: what purpose does God have in this? That is what Rebekah did – she looked for insight as to WHY those children were struggling within her.
We should do the same thing as well. Each of us has “struggles” like Rebekah had going on within her; we have disappointing events, failures, trials – for example, I am currently on medical leave from my church with an as-yet undiagnosed malady, and have not been able to preach for several weeks. Perhaps you have some ongoing struggle as well? If we are wise, and are people of faith, we will not be content just to “endure” these things; we will be like Rebekah and ask, “WHY am I this way?” And we will seek to learn God’s purposes for what we are going through.
Like Rebekah, let us go “to inquire of the Lord.” Let us ask God what His purposes for our trials are; what is He trying to do in and through us? Genesis tells us that God blessed Rebekah’s search for wisdom. He told her that the reason for the struggle within her was that there were two nations inside of her, the children Jacob & Esau. We can have the confidence that if we ask Him, God will give US the wisdom that we ask for as well. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it WILL be given to him.”
So if God has allowed a “struggle” to develop in some area of your life, then live out your faith, and believe that He has a purpose in it. Ask Him: “Why then am I this way?”, and let Him show you His reasons for it. When He does, then you can be a worker together with Him in whatever it is that He is trying to accomplish for His glory through your life.