Tuesday, September 26, 2017

day no. 14,218: they came in conflict and walked away with peace

Genesis 26:30-32
So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.”
During the course of reading Genesis 26 we find most people coming to Isaac in conflict and all walking away in peace. Isaac was a peacemaker. Whatever you were looking for when you went looking for Isaac, it appears you always walked away from him with peace. Even here, we find him preparing a feast and making promises of peace to people who have done nothing but harass him previously. Isaac was often ready to forgive and quick to act if asked to give it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

day no. 14,217: made to make much of someone else

Genesis 26:23-25
From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham's sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac's servants dug a well.

As much as we might want to have blessings multiplied for our own sake, it is never as satisfying as when they are multiplied for another's sake. Our lives were designed to bring glory to another and those who embrace this part of their DNA find fuller expression of who they are and deeper satisfaction in being who they are than those who continually run their accomplishments up the flagpole.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

day no. 14,216: water wherever he walked

Genesis 26:22
And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
Isaac accommodated others' inclinations. He did not box out or throw elbows. He simply moved on and sought a peaceful existence in the land where God was blessing his productivity. As vital as water was, Isaac valued peace more and trusted God to provide water wherever he walked.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

day no. 14,215: their giggles gave it away

Genesis 26:8-9
When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. 9 So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
I love that Isaac and Rebekah's marital bliss overflowed in such common, everyday ways that anyone observing them knew that they were married. They laughed and played in such a way in public that it implied also a private relationship. Oh that more Christian marriages were more publically identified by this kind of stereotype instead of the blank stares over bland food that so often serves as the prototype for Christian, married life.

Friday, September 22, 2017

day no. 14,214: hot wives and cold feet

Genesis 26:4-5, 7
"I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my law." …7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance.

Isaac did not fall far from the tree. He inherited the blessing of his father Abraham and his bad habits to boot. Abraham and Isaac both had hot wives, cold feet and covenant from God.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

day no. 14,213: where it really gets personal

"What is the sign of a friend? Is it that he tells you his secret sorrows? No, it is that he tells you his secret joys. Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you." – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 3, 2017
This is an incredible insight I have tried, tested and affirmed both in my own heart and in my experience in life, friendship, marriage, parenting and ministry.
Without question, I have heard more confessions of secret sorrow and struggle than I have heard of secret pleasures and joys. It takes a degree of vulnerability to let someone else see your hidden wounds, but it takes far greater transparency and trust to willfully guide someone to your secret treasures. What you truly like and love most is more the essence of who you are and would choose to be. So in keeping, it is often the most difficult thing to say out loud, even to someone who knows us well.