A Painful Pregnancy

As a man, I never experienced the discomfort and inconveniences of pregnancy. I do witness what my wife and many mothers had to go through during the process. Pregnancy is a mentally and physically stressful task. In some cases, pregnancy can even be life-threatening to the mother and the child. Entering into motherhood is a brave decision. That's what makes pregnancy such a beautiful thing.

You may notice that I didn't mention anything about the berth pang a mother needs to suffer, because the passage we are going to reflect on, is about a pregnant woman. She is Rebekah, Issac's wife. Genesis 25:19-28 told us about her pregnancy story. Verse 22 says that during her pregnancy, "The babies jostled each other within her, and she said," 'Why is this happening to me?' So she went to inquire of the Lord." (NIV) The translators of the NIV Bible chose a proper word to describe how the fetuses roughly pushing, elbowing, or bumping against each other in their mother's womb (Oxford Dictionary of English). The struggles of the two brothers made Rebekah's pregnancy even more difficult. So she prayed to God. The Bible didn't mention the content of her prayer. We also don't know how long she had prayed. Whatever the Bible didn't say is not relevant to its readers. On the other hand, biblical authors will never leave anything important unrecorded. In this case, the point is not what she prayed for but the answer she received from God.

It is so true isn't it? What we pray for and how we prayed for it is never as important as how God answers. Rebekah received an answer. Though it might not be what she had expected, she seemed satisfied. What did God say that is so surprising that made her forget, even ignore all the pains?

God gave her not one but three surprises in His oracle. First, she is pregnant with a pair of twins. Second, the twins will be ancestors of two nations. The last but not the least surprise is, the younger brother will be the superior to the older. Students of the Bible learn that the oracle being fulfilled following the birth of the twins from the subsequent texts and future history.

Similar to Rebekah, in many cases, all we want is an answer from God. Unlike the way she found satisfaction in God's word, sometimes we might feel that God is obligated to answer in our terms like we are the one in charge. There are times we refuse to accept the way God answers our prayers and act like we never receive the answer. The matter of the truth is, no matter how we react, God's will will be done. He IS the sovereign one.

Once that I visited a mother whose young child is hospitalized for a precautious reason. The doctor gave her several options to consider, ranging from the most recommended to the least. According to the whole situation she had described to me, I felt that God had answered her inquiry and His will is pretty clear. Yet she decided to choose otherwise and take the "safest" option. It was the choice that not only not necessary for her young child but also unsuitable to her family. It handicapped her family from addressing a much serious issue at hand. Praise the Lord for He is still graciously taking care of the family today, but to me, the family didn't have to suffer that much had the mother decided to trust in God. It is my prayer that you will find satisfaction in God's answers like Rebekah.

Share an experience with your devotional partner that you chose to accept or reject God's answer to your prayers. Pray for each other that we are more willing to let God be God and find satisfaction in His answer to our supplications, regardless if it is in our terms.