I love hearing stories of how couples met. And the “unlikely” happenings that brought them together. It was my sophomore year of college. I had signed up for calculus to avoid taking science – a huge win as far as I was concerned. On the first day I sat next to the only girl I knew in class; who proceeded to point out a cute guy in the second row she had a huge crush on.
Devotional: Genesis 24
Key Verse: “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Ps. 37:23; NLT
As far as I was concerned, I was only in that class because I hated science. But God had another purpose – one I wouldn’t know until later. It wasn’t my friend who caught the eye of the boy in the second row, it was me.
Yet for three years I wondered what was wrong with me. Why no boys pursued me. I’d given God choice in the matter yet questioned if he really cared. At times I was certain God’s “silence” was evidence he didn’t. But he did. He cared deeply and was providentially protecting and preparing my heart for the boy in calculus who’d been thinking about me for quite some time.
However God wanted my whole heart before he’d allow me to give any piece to a boy. So it wasn’t until I was out the door to my last final of my senior year a guy actually asked for my number. And as it happens…it was the cute guy from the second row.
I know it doesn’t always seem like it, but God is actively working in the lives of the faithful. “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Ps. 37:23, NLT). He doesn’t just intercede every once in awhile but is sovereignly guiding in every aspect. Even the choice of a spouse, as beautifully evidenced in Genesis 24 in the story of Isaac and Rebekah’s union.
Isaac was 40 (Gen. 25:20), making Abraham 140, with one concern still on his mind – a wife for his son. Abraham knew the right choice for Isaac was paramount for the promises of God to be told to the next generation. (And let’s be honest…it’s still paramount today.) So he charges his servant to not take a wife from the Canaanites but to go to Mesopotamia and find a wife for Isaac from among his kindred.
Arriving at a well outside the city of Nahor the servant prayed. “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today…” Then before the servant was even finished praying, Rebekah came walking up to the well. Saying and doing exactly as the servant had prayed.
When she revealed who she was, “the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor” (24:24), Abraham’s servant bowed in worship. He was awestruck at God’s loving hand of guidance. It was certainly no accident the first maiden to approach the well was a niece of Abraham. Why do we underestimate prayer? It’s so important! When we don’t pray we miss the miracle of God’s providential work in our lives. But when we do pray, we gain confidence we’re doing the right thing.
When the servant recounted his prayer to the family, divine intervention was undeniable. Rebekah agreed to go and upon departure the family spoke a blessing to her, which closely echoed God’s blessing to Abraham in Genesis 22 “and your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies” (Gen. 22:17), which was then passed to Isaac. I don’t think it’s any accident the same blessing was given to both Isaac and his bride.
Our lives are not ruled by chance or fate, but by a God who is faithful to his children. Our challenge is to be faithful to him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
He will lead but you must be willing to follow.
I’ve never regretted putting my trust in God. But I’ve definitely regretted when I haven’t.
I can testify to God’s providential work in my life. The impeccable timing of encouragement or guidance or provision. Yet at times still act as though it’s all up to me. As though the weight of my future or marriage or children rests on my shoulders. When in reality it doesn’t.
“The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Prov. 16:9
So I’ll trust him. I’ll pray and teach my children to do the same; so they too may experience the miracle of God’s providential work in their lives. Because he is not a distant God. He is not detached from life. Nor is he inaccessible. He is a loving and considerate God; who is actively involved in the lives of his children.
And cares about the choices they make – including the choice of a spouse. So I’ll encourage my princess to be “anxious about the things of the Lord…holy in body and spirit” (1 Cor. 7:34). Not anxious for love. Because God can write her a love story far more amazing than anything she could ever imagine. And I’ll teach my little men to look for girls anxious for God’s love, not theirs. That the promises of God may be passed to next generation.
And I’ll pray. Because I know God is working and I can’t wait to see what he does next!
Contemplate and Evaluate:
Do you believe God is actively involved in your life? When have you experienced God’s providential encouragement, guidance, protection, or provision?
Are you encouraging the next generation to trust God through your example of faith?