Matthew 8: 1-17
I love the inclusion of stories in the Bible. God is seen in stories, the plots, the instances... the material of our timelines are the stuff of God. He is storyteller, He is author, He is creator.
When I read the story of how Abraham's servant met Rebekah I am reminded of how truly God it is to orchestrate, move, and draw stories.
All the servant of Abraham needs to do is tell the story of his journey, to tell the story of how he feels and how he prays and to just tell the story of what has happened to him and what does his listeners say? "This is from the Lord, we can say nothing to you one way or the other." Aside from whatever feeling these people have that enables them to trust the servant of Abraham who is a total stranger to them: the story is all the evidence they need. God is in the story. It is obvious: "this is from the Lord."
I'm reminded of how I met my best friend. It's one of my favorite stories to tell because of how obvious it is that God is in the story. It's one of those things in my life that just points to God so plainly.
I was in college struggling to make friends. I prayed every day for a good friend, a companion. No matter where I turned I just didn't seem to find my equal, a true friend for me. It was a Christian college and I thought for sure that I should find a good friend there, a kindred spirit. I found friends, acquaintances, but no one I felt I could truly connect with. My heart was broken over and over again and I was becoming crippled with the heartache and loneliness.
It was my sophomore year, the evening of the first of October, and my boyfriend broke up with me. Still with the numbness of shock and confusion the next morning I attended Wednesday morning chapel. I sat in the seats with the glazed over feeling of "what is happening in my life?" and I saw an ad light up the screen "Want to be in a chapel worship band? Worship info meeting tomorrow night." And I decided to go. It was something I had wanted to do and with the desperation of heartbreak I felt free to just give it a shot.
The next evening I came into the meeting and I jotted down notes of what would be required of me, what commitments I would have to make. The leaders created a spreadsheet for contact information so that the musicians and worship leaders could begin to reach out and form teams.
The next day, Friday, when I got the email with the contact information I messaged one person on the list: Sarah. I sent her a quick email and took a nap. When I woke up I had a text on my phone from her and we decided to meet for dinner that very night.
We met at the cafeteria and we ate macaroni and cheese. We talked about Jesus, worship, the Bible, and we went back to my dorm to practice some worship songs. We knew we were going to start a worship band, but more than that I had an intrinsic sense that Sarah was going to be my best friend. I just knew it.
Something about the story. Something about the way we were able to talk. Something about how we played music together. Something, something, something...something told me: "This is from the Lord."
And I did know. Four and a half years later here I am with Sarah, still my best friend, staying at my house, I'm her maid of honor in June. We had a worship band for 2 years, what a wonderful thing to form a friendship upon: the desire to worship. Such a GOD story!
When I read this story in Genesis, part of me recoils and wants to reject the story. It's the part of me that hates the idea of arranged marriage and the weird patriarchal customs that cause Rebekah to hardly have a voice of her own, that her own brother has more of a say in her marriage than maybe she does, culturally. Part of me hates it.
But most of me loves it, because I see how God works through the story and I love how obvious it is to everyone that "this is from the Lord!" And though I don't want this to be my story of how I find my husband I also do want this to be my story...when I meet my husband I want to love the story as much as I love the story of how I met my best friend. When I meet my husband I want the stuff of the story to be the evidence I need that "this is from the Lord."
The Word of God speaks. The Scriptures and Christ are out loud representations of God's character and will. But the story of our lives speak too. The reading in Matthew today was also just stories. Stories of miracles and healing!
Everyone knows stories speak powerfully, it's how Hollywood thrives! People are addicted to stories...but I think God is too. He loves to author, He loves to tell stories. He loves to create stories, to move in our lives to reveal who He is. The stories that reveal who He is, that glorify Him, are really the only stories worth anything. They are the most powerful, the most amazing, and the most full.