We live in a “now” world. Because of modern technologies and the conveniences we’ve become accustomed to in the so-called civilized world, if we’re not instantly gratified, that leaves us unhappy and grumbling. Our attention spans have grown increasingly shorter, and our patience wears thin if we have to wait more than a couple minutes for something we want. Have you ever called tech support to fix a problem, waited ten minutes, then took out your frustration on the rep answering your call? Have you ever gone to the McDonald’s drive-thru, then fumed at the number of cars ahead of you? Our modern world has spoiled us. Because of that, we often think that God should answer our prayers NOW!
In Genesis 25:20,26 we get an indication that God does things in His own way in His timing:
“And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah…Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them [his twin sons Esau and Jacob].”
For twenty years, Rebekeh was barren “and Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekeah his wife conceived (Genesis 25:21)”
Twenty years! The text doesn’t tell us how old Rebekah was when she married Isaac, but given the culture at that time, she was likely quite young, perhaps fifteen or so. In all the intervening years until the Lord granted Isaac’s and her petitions for a child, how discouraging that must have been!
Interestingly, Scripture doesn’t record Rebekah’s death, but Jewish tradition believes she may have been somewhere between 120-130 years old at the time. Apparently, she had no other children besides the twin boys. So, she was maybe thirty-five when she had the two boys and for another possibly ninety years – nothing!
God’s answer came and it was limited according to His purposes. Simply having the children they did brought great joy to Isaac and Rebekah, but they had to wonder why it took God so long to answer and why they had no other children.
Aren’t we like that? If God doesn’t respond instantly to our prayers for healing, deliverance from a difficult situation, or anything else, we wonder what’s wrong. If He doesn’t answer in the way we envision He should, we’re perplexed. Did God not hear me? Have I done something wrong? What’s taking Him so long? Why didn’t He do it my way?
We’re created in God’s image, but He is far beyond us in who He is. He is sovereign. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He knows the end from the beginning. Humbling ourselves to this reality and coming before Him on bended knee can be difficult because of our rebellious spirits, but that’s exactly what we must do.
Lord, help us come to You with a surrendered and soft heart. You are God and we are not. Have your will and your way, for You are worthy. We give You the glory and praise You deserve. Bless Your holy Name.