I’m still going through Beth Moore’s Bible study, The Patriarchs, though my attempt at a blog study didn’t fly. Recently, as I was reading day 1 of week 5, I was struck by her commentary about Genesis 25.21-22:
Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORD answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked.
There are so many observations that could be made here. Husbands, are you praying deeply, fervently, and regularly for your wives? When you are not seeing an answer to your prayers, do you persist, pleading? Do you know WHO to pray to or to turn for help? Do you believe that Creator God answers prayers and cares about you?
But none of those powerful implications are what really snagged me. It was her comment, “Once our prayer is answered, our tendency is to expect smooth sailing.” Wow. Guilty. That’s me.
I want to encourage you to remember that when God answers a prayer and you see the fulfillment of something you’ve been deeply praying would come to pass, that it is just the beginning. God has more road in front of you. We tend to regard answered prayers as stop signs with God. When we receive what we’ve been asking, our short-sighted, earth-bound vision wants to simply stop there and revel in the reception of our request. But our God sees much further; He sees the end from the beginning; He has intricately woven all of reality into a tapestry with interconnected intricacy.
What we pray for and receive most often becomes only the beginning of our path. Our answered prayers also become our struggles and an example for others to consider. Rebekah’s answered prayer led her to a confusing, difficult pregnancy, and then to a peculiar prophecy.
Don’t allow your current struggles to cast a negative light on the fact that your own prayers have been answered in some way. What is worth praying for is worth struggling through, both before and after. Though your perspective is limited, trust the character, wisdom, and love of God for you. He is still weaving.