“This is from the LORD” — Genesis 24:50
This morning I read the story in Genesis 24 that explains how Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, was found. Abraham sent one of his servants to find a non-Canaanite woman for Isaac. Abraham’s servant began his mission by asking God to give him success and his prayer was immediately answered. When the servant was telling Rebekah’s brother, Laban, the story he said that before he could even finish praying Rebekah greeted him (Gen. 24:45). When Laban heard the way God answered his prayer, he said, “This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter…Take her and go.” (24:50)
When I read Laban’s response those words jumped out to me! Certainly, the ancient Jewish culture was different than ours today, but I can only imagine all the different thoughts and feelings Laban had about his sister leaving with some stranger’s servant to marry a man he has never met! Yet, regardless of how Laban may have been feeling we do know that when Laban heard how God answered prayer he could not deny this was from the LORD.
I think we can relate a lot with what is going on in this story. This past month we have experienced a vast array of emotions. We began the month with great excitement about finding our new home in Chicago. Then we experienced all the highs and lows of packing and moving. There have been plenty of sad days, as we have had to say our goodbyes to all our friends and family in D.C. There have also been plenty of joyful days as we have met new friends and reconnected with old ones in Chicago.
Regardless of how we feel from day-to-day we are convinced more than ever that God has called us here and our being here is “from the Lord.” Just like Laban we cannot deny the ways we have seen God at work and answer our prayers. Most recently we were doing a prayer walk through our new neighborhood and we were praying for God to give us success in our mission. On this day we were specifically praying for God to grant us favor with the high school close to our home as a target area for meeting people in our community.
A few days later as I was out in our neighborhood I noticed a young man carrying a basketball under his arm and figured I would ask him where he was going to play. To my surprise he told me that he was not going somewhere to play, but instead he was headed to help coach the men’s basketball team at the high school near our home. Earlier in the week I had tried to connect with the head coach of the basketball team and athletic director, but I was not having any success. So when this guy told me he was one of the assistant coaches on the team I got really excited. That day this young man was able to introduce me to the head coach, the athletic director, and all the guys on the basketball team. Now for the last two weeks I have been a volunteer coach and building relationships with the other coaches, several students, and the school administration.
This is just one recent example of how we have seen the Lord at work here in Chicago. Please pray that the Lord would do even greater things than this and bring many of these people to faith in Christ.
1. Please pray for those people I have met at as a volunteer coach and that God would open many doors for the gospel to be proclaimed in my relationships with them.
2. Please pray for the neighbors who live right around us and that we would have opportunities to share about Christ as we have some of them over for dinner and get to know them better.
3. Please pray for Loyola University and that God will bless my efforts to try and start an evangelistic bible study on campus.