Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Remained Silent

“And the man, wondering at her remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.” Genesis 24:21

When the time for Isaac to get wed approaches, Abraham chooses his oldest servant to tend to an expedient task. He calls his servant to return to the land where he once dwelled, in order to prevent Isaac from an unholy union with the Canaanites. Abraham chooses the oldest servant perhaps because this servant once lived with him in the previous land, and thus would be the most experienced; or perhaps he selected this servant for such an important mission because this servant was a distinguished man of much faith. It is not surprising that the servant displayed this quality of trust in God and in Abraham, seeing as he had a good example to follow.

In lieu of the arduous duty the servant of Abraham had to perform, he takes several measures to ensure the fulfillment of his responsibility. First and foremost, the servant prays. His prayer is coated not only with sincerity and humility, but it also contains specific desires, demonstrating his strong communion with God. Likewise, although he makes it obvious that he wants success, he does not demand it. Secondly, upon seeing Rebecca, the servant observes with silent anticipation. He waits, in order to clearly discern whether or not God is working in the situation. Lastly, realizing God’s answer, he immediately responds with worship, not neglecting to show his gratitude to God.

The second measure the servant takes is recorded in Genesis 24:21. The servant is curious to know whether or not Rebecca is the choice wife for Isaac, but instead of jumping to conclusions, attempting to force the situation, or rushing in with expectation, he simply “remained silent.” The servant shows one of the most essential yet one of the hardest aspects in prayer, which is to wait for God’s answer. In doing so, the servant avoids making the mistake of messing up the situation by a premature intervening, or ruining the situation by using an assumption based solely on his own feelings. He relies, however, on God’s timing.

Waiting is one of the most difficult things to do. I find myself the most frustrated, irritated, or upset when I have to wait for long periods of time, especially when I do not know what the outcome is going to be. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store, in traffic, or waiting for someone to make an appointment, I become exasperated because in the instance of waiting, I do not have control. The ball is no longer in my court. Instead, I must rely on someone else’s decision, someone else’s move, or someone else’s arrival. The dependency is really what aggravates me.

However, in my relationship with God, I must surrender my desire to be in control. In essence, I must be fall into a quiet obedience. When I commune with Him and seek Him to do something in my life, if it is at all sincere and if I truly trust that He will perform the best possible outcome, I must relinquish any desire to meddle. I cannot make any hasty assumptions or take any rash actions; instead, I must wait for God to demonstrate His clear will in my life. If I try to interject my interpretation of the situation and I end up making an impulsive measure, I may end up causing more harm to myself. On the contrary, if I remain silent and observant, I can determine God’s plan in my life and act accordingly.

Dear God,

There are so many things in my life right now that I must wait for. And yet, I am so impatient that sometimes end up acting too prematurely without a clear understanding of what You desire for my life. Please help me to wait in quietness of spirit and silent submission for Your plan to happen in Your perfect time.

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