I'm reading a book called Rebekah: Women of Genesis by Orson Scott Card. I know that it's technically fiction, although it's based on Biblical events and people. It's still a great story, so far. I'm at the point where Rebekah has just gotten married to Isaac, and the next section (I'm assuming) is about their life together with their family.
It's given me some things to think about. We are our experiences. We make choices based on how we do not want things to turn out. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we do things that hurt others. Do you think that Rebekah really wanted to cause division in her family, to create a situation that drove Jacob away for years?
What about Isaac? He probably grew up knowing of God's promise that Sarah would have a son. But did he also know the whole time that Abraham doubted God and that's why Ishmael was born? What did Isaac think, knowing that he was an answer to Abraham and Sarah's prayer, when Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac to God? I think that generally we think about the great sacrifice that Abraham made, and how merciful God was to spare Abraham losing his beloved son. But what about Isaac? How did it affect him for the rest of his life knowing that his father was capable of killing him? Did he constantly doubt his worth? I know I would have. I would have been angry and bitter and I think I would have been very angry at God. God knew the effects this could have on Isaac, the potential that Isaac's relationship with his father would forever be altered, and yet he chose that particular situation.
I don't really know how to react to that. Part of me dislikes the realization that sometimes God could clearly choose that we go through a situation that causes us pain. I mean, I know that. I've experienced things like that, and I've never understood them. But suddenly seeing the situation from another angle just gives me a lot to think about. How did Isaac, how do we, really trust God? He sees the big picture, and we don't. And sometimes, he causes things to happen that are difficult or awful for individuals, but an amazing part of the big picture. Jesus got a pretty raw deal. But it was an AMAZING part of the big picture of all humanity. How do we find the kind of faith that allows us to trust God no matter what, even if our lives seem terrible for years and years?
I'm a little afraid to trust God sometimes. Or a lot of the time. Because in the back of my mind, I think I really get that my best interest isn't the only thing God's concerned with. And he might ask me to make some big sacrifices. That's scary. That's hard. But I do want to be the kind of person who will still praise God no matter what. I know God is love, but that doesn't always mean my circumstances will feel that way, or that I will feel that way. And I wrestle with that.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about this, to create some dialogue about this. I love when people help stretch my concept of God and who he is beyond my own limited understanding.