Fairy Tales in the Bible

“…and by this I will know you have shown kindness to my master”. – Genesis 24: 12-14

When I was a little girl, my mom would read bedtime stories to me. There was one in particular, I was quite fond of, and almost every night I would ask her to read me that story. She would smile at me and try to convince me otherwise; she would give me other options such as the one about “Persephone” or “The Odyssey” attempting to lure me with adventure, sometimes she would even throw in “David and Goliath” since she knew I also enjoyed that tale, but every night I would win and she would lose. Almost every night she wound up reading from the same book. She had read this story so many times, some nights she opted to tell it to me from memory, but I enjoyed the words and if she forgot a detail, I adamantly encouraged her to read the book by saying, “No mom, read the story, don’t tell me the story”, as I would take her hand in mine and tap her fingers to the page – the story was Isaac and Rebecca.

My mom never understood why I enjoyed the story so much, perhaps it was a father’s desire for his son to find marital bliss, perhaps it was the way the young lady in the story is depicted as a compassionate thoughtful woman, or perhaps it was the illustration of “love at first sight”, but for some reason her youngest child would end her day pleading for her mom to read “Isaac and Rebecca” as she fell asleep in her mother’s arms. As a child, I thought the reason I enjoyed this “fairytale” was because of the underlining theme of “Happily Ever After”, but as an adult I have discovered “happily ever after and love at first sight” were just two aspects of the story, the real reason why this was my favorite was the depiction of answered prayer.

Like all other young girls, I grew up in the world of Disney. I was introduced to the idea of fairytales one Christmas day when my next door neighbors gifted me a “Beauty and Beast” VHS (yes I am that old). This film marked my first introduction to the idea of romance, love, and marriage, following this film were Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, and Snow White. I was only three years old, but all these films had a common theme: “Man meets girl, girl meets man, love at first sight, conflict arises, love wins, and they lived happily ever after” (Boring). Although I did enjoy these tales (and songs) and watched the films many times over, they were all the same to me, it is no wonder why when my mom first read the story of “Isaac and Rebecca” I fell in love with their story. Here was a “fairytale” that was different, a story about a father who wanted the best for his son, so he entrusted his servant with a task to go find a bride for his son, the servant not having much to go on other than “go to a land” decides a bold approach, the servant prays to God for direction, and God answers his prayer…word for word! Don’t believe me? Take a look at these verses:

“Then he said, ‘O LORD God of my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’ – let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac..” Gen 24:12-14.

This was the servant’s prayer for God’s direction in making his decision. Fast forward a little ways, and we find this:

“And the servant ran to meet her and said, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher’. So she said, ‘Drink my lord.’ Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, ‘I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking’. Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels” (Gen 24: 17-20).

-What?!

-Did she just do exactly what the servant had prayed? How awesome is that?!

-Incredible!

That section right there was what captured a four year old’s heart, mind, and attention. A servant prayed and God answered that prayer word for word. I knew as a little girl, that these cartoon fairytales were “make believe”, but what about this? Could this be real? Is this possible? After all, it comes from the Bible.

I didn’t know it then, but there in the midst of a “bedtime” story, God had gifted me with His fairytale for my life. A fairytale that one day I would revisit at age 23 and would cling to, not believing so much for that “prince charming”, but rather believing that my Heavenly Father has my best interests at heart. Isn’t it romantic, the idea that we can draft a prayer, and have faith that the LORD will answer this prayer for our lives?

This post has been written on my heart for over two years now, but I could never work up the courage to write it. Perhaps, along the way I lost hope and stopped believing that this type of prayer is attainable? Perhaps, the thoughts were too vulnerable for me to share with the public? Perhaps, I began to doubt God? You know what I think the reason was why I haven’t written this post, – timing. The moment had not taken place yet for me to type this up, nor for the audience to read. So I am believing boldly here, that whomever is reading this, it is one of those kairos moments where you were meant to read this in God’s timing dear one. I hope it has encouraged you. To the young mother, believe and dream BIG for your children, start praying for their spouse now while they are young. It will make a great difference in their lives, especially with all the sorts of ways society bombards young minds. To the young woman who waited for her answered prayer (spouse), share your story. Your tale of how you met your husband and how you prayed for him before you had even met him will encourage and inspire many young souls. To the adult single woman, have faith. God has His best interests for your life at heart (Jer 29:11). He has purpose for you, and trust me if you have not met “The One” it’s because God’s timeline is different than your own timeline. To the teenager, talk with your parents, seek their advice, matters of the heart are meant to be treated with great care, who better to discuss this than with an adult who cares for you like your mom, a guardian, or your group leader/youth pastor.

And if you are wondering dear one, I have list. It’s not lengthy nor does it involve drawing water for camels, but it’s my list. The One God inspired in my heart many moons ago, and I pray over consistently believing that one day God will answer my prayer just as he answered Abraham’s servant.

My prayer and hope for you precious one, is that you found encouragement within these words. I appreciate you for pausing at my blog and reading. You are fearfully and wonderfully crafted out of God’s great love, keep smiling, keep hoping, keep believing, God’s great purpose unfolds over you every moment of your life. Remember, God loves you! And his mercies are new every morning.

Until next time,

-S

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Is it Wrong to Want These Things?

“You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” –Psalm 139:3-4.

This is by far the hardest post I have ever contemplated to write. A few months ago, the idea began to stir up in my mind and heart, but over the past few months I have experienced great difficulty in finding the “right words”. You see, it was late one night as I was driving home from watching a film with my friends. I was contemplating the storyline; the film was about following your dreams and risking everything to pursue them. It was a very inspiring musical, you may have heard of it, LALA Land, and I just could not drive home right away, so I drove around the city limits lost in a sea of thoughts. Something was clearly bothering me, so I did the only thing I knew to do when restlessness stirs in my heart…I started to talk to God. I don’t know if it was a prayer or just carrying conversation with Him, but the answer I got was everything I have been searching for the past three years.

In the fall of 2012, after returning from a summer in Colorado serving as a church plant intern, I thought I had discovered my “life purpose” , and so I pursued it. Two weeks before leaving my hometown and relocating to a new state, I realized I had what other’s call “jumped the gun”. Though it was painful, I had to let that desire burn with the fire that I felt had destroyed my reputation and character as a “woman of God”. It hurt, but I knew I had made the right decision. Over the next two years, I overcame the sorrow and made the brave decision to put the dream of church planting in Colorado to rest. During that time of healing, I sought answers to so many questions. “Why would I feel such a close attachment to the people and culture, if I wasn’t meant to go? Why did you (God) let me get that far in the journey, if I was meant to stay? How come it’s so easy for my friends to relocate and serve in ministry? Did I just not have all my ‘ducks in a row’?”.  Slowly those questions turned into rationalizations, “Perhaps, I am supposed to get our of debt first like my friend so and so and her husband did before they moved..,Maybe its still church planting just not Colorado. I should go to graduate school first. Financial stability comes first. My family needs me to stay close because this and this was going to happen and God knew that.  Ohh, I know! I am supposed to be married first before I go off on my own into ministry”. This had lasted for years, just going back and forth yet still feeling like I was not fulfilling my life’s calling. Of course family and friends supported me and also offered their perspectives and opinions. Many advised me to stabilize a career first, and I tried but it was like just as I started to climb the mountain boulders would come tumbling down. –Big life’s boulders.  So then I attempted to become more financially stable and really pay attention to my expenses and save, and well… student loans and medical bills just seemed to keep drowning me one after another.

These were the memories, I continued to discuss with God on my drive that night, just seeking the answer that would put to rest all of my anxieties, doubts, and fears. At one point I said, “Lord, I just don’t understand. Why does it look so easy for my friends, why does it look so easy on Hollywood? Am I just crippled by fear? Am I not persevering enough? Do I need more endurance? And what about my other dreams like having a family and a home?”.  And in that moment it came to me like a whisper, “I made you, you”, and in that instant it was like all the weights, all the chains, everything that had been weighing me down was gone. I felt free.

In the film there is this “deciding” moment for one of the main characters and she has to decide if her dream is worth pursuing?, and I felt like this was my moment and I too had to decide. Except I had already made my choice many years ago,  the day I said “yes” to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You see what I learned that night was that each one of us is genuinely and intricately made. We each have our own personalities, talents, likes, dislikes, dreams, passions, professional paths, families, etc. There is not one single one of us who is made the same, not even twins. We are unique and especially divinely designed for a purpose. Just like our personalities, there is a variety of life’s purpose and each one of us discovers it in this beautiful journey we call life. I have sought many ideas and opportunities that I convinced myself were the right ones for me, and I was mistaken but that is not to say that they would be mistakes for another. Money , education, significant other, children, a career, just are not the things that my heart, mind, and spirit truly seek. I cannot explain it but there is one passion, one dream, one desire, that outweighs the rest of them. Like in the Book of Solomon,  I view money, education, career path, etc  as a “chasing after the wind”. I do not find fulfillment, or joy in any one of them.  My desire to see other’s have a new life in Christ, to see the wonderful transformations saying “yes” to God can do for people is the great treasure I am after. I have tried with great intent to look and seek other things, but I come out empty every time.  I believe that faith is what helps us overcome the storms in life. Faith is what aids us in breaking down the boulders piece by piece until they are just small pebbles in our life. I believe that a relationship in Christ with God can be everything we could ever need and hope for in our life, and I believe this is worth pursuing though it may cost me everything I have.

This is the effect, LALA Land, had in my heart that night. Somehow this film started up a flame in me and every day my prayer is that it will continue to grow and remain. So if you are wondering is it wrong to want these things, fame, money, financial stability, love, career, marriage, children, ministry? My answer to you is absolutely not, God designed you to be you. We each feel pulled to different things, be wise not to let it consume you, but explore the place these general concepts may have in your life. I believe that as you unfearfully explore these ideas and bring them to God every day, He will reveal to you the goodness in each one of them without it overwhelming you and destroying you. He will build them, He will guide you in discerning which are worth pursuing and which to put to rest. For me, I know that a life in Christ, and being a witness to others, and share the gospel is what will always triumph over the rest, so as long as I am pursuing that on a daily basis the rest will come as it may. Whether I am teaching at a university or serving in an orphanage in a foreign country I will do it with a Colossians 3:17 mindset. So take courage my dear reader, and explore all that God has for you. Walk in wisdom, seek discernment, seek Godly counsel, remember to pray and pursue your dreams.

As always, I appreciate you for visiting, remember God loves you.

Blessings!

-S

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”. –Colossians 3:17