I love reading through history. Women and men that changed the world and made mistakes and learned and were still so integral to writing a great and crazy, all wrong and all right, history. I appreciate their accomplishments; I welcome the challenge to match them footstep for footstep.
Maybe I appreciate their screw ups just as much. Or more. I am good to learn from them in this way, too. This is the perfect scenario in which to live vicariously. And the amazing thing is how the worst and craziest seeming people get their stories repeated just as often. We know the infamous as well as the famous. We need to. Past improprieties are the bricks that build us.
This morning, I was reading about Abraham and his guaranteed blessings. Could you imagine that? Guaranteed blessings? Well believe, yo. We have it. When Abraham died, God sent an angel to tell Isaac he would be receiving all that was promised to his father. Whoa. What an inheritance. Brilliant work, God.
Then I moved on to reading about Abraham’s daughter in law. When Abraham sent his servant to Canaan to find her, he was beyond confident in God. He prayed, his servant’s prayed, and they all believed. This bride-retrieval-mission was bathed in God’s will. Like a poorly kept secret, they were all in on it.
His servant arrived after days of traveling and spoke first to God when he arrived at the well. “Let the one who is to be my master’s wife offer me water and go on to offer to water my cattle” (Shontell’s English Translation). Bam. The first woman who approached, Rebekah, spoke his very words. The bible says even before the servant was finished speaking to God in his heart Rebekah walked up, water jar in hand.
Her words were God’s words. Her heart full of the Holy Spirit before she ever met him or he ever really came here to live with us. She was smack dab in the middle of God’s will for her. I know that feeling. It’s overwhelming, like the ceiling can’t hold you.
Nor your skin.
Your heart feels like a cartoon that keeps pumping through your fancy shirt. You’re sure everyone around you can feel it. It almost hurts because you know you don’t deserve it. You remember the bricks that build you.
Despite that, you sense that God is bigger in you than all of that. I am so grateful for that. That feeling that I will never again be that ignoramus out of God’s will. Away from God’s path. That assurance that I am complete in God’s will and untouchable. And, yet.
I find myself falling for that little selfish whisper. Which turns into a murmur. And then we are having a heated dispute before I cave and believe him because that little evil genius is just a little bit louder than God. Suddenly, I am Rebekah.
Rebekah who went from so engrossed in God’s will that her words were mirrors. Ventriloquy. Not a magic trick at all, but full blown Jesus Freak. But time passes and smoke clouds the glass, and she. me. I am at it again. Far from the will I know. Believing the nonsense that threatens to consume me.
Maybe I have never loved one of my twins more than the other. Maybe I have never taught my boy to lie to his brother and then his father in order for him to get ahead and cheat my husband out of his blessing and inheritance. But do the specifics matter? My sin creates space. A deep void only fillable by the one true lover of my soul. The guy that never quits or gets tired of holding me up. Even when my faith is tiny and I feel I need to take things into my own hands which inevitably fail. Grasping is always a mistake. White knuckling this world leads to death.
As always, it comes down to my choices. How do I want to be remembered? Would it bother me if someone, anyone, walked in the room and overheard me talking, working, watching, listening, debating, disagreeing, convincing. Who am I gonna be? More Rebekah or less of her?
In this minute, I will admit I am closer to the version I don’t want to be. But I am letting the death consume me to make more room for the one who really matters.