According to the Enneagram of Personality, I am a number 3: The Achiever. In my case, this assessment could not be more accurate. Before I ever heard of the Enneagram, I had been told that I was a constant learner. I spent a good portion of my life climbing beyond the limitations placed on me. Like Rebekah in today’s passage, I often took matters into my own hands.
Imagine my surprise when God instructed me to stop striving and be still for a season. I am not good at being still. My college nickname was Busybody. “What is living without striving, Lord?” I prayed, “How am I supposed to achieve this great plan you have for my life if I am being still? If I stop striving, how will success happen?” I had faith, but I wanted to help God with my achievement so that “we” could get to the next level of greatness. Did Rebekah ever pray such a prayer? She certainly has plans of greatness for her favorite son.
We busybodies often find that our goals run contrary to God’s purpose in our lives, even when we’re trying to do what we think is best. Too often we try to accomplish God’s work without God. Look at how dishonestly and selfishly Rebekah behaves. She concocts an elaborate deception and favors Jacob above his brother. She instructs Jacob to lie and manipulates Isaac into cheating Esau. God’s purpose for our lives is meant to be just that—God’s purpose. God wants us to do many things; assuming the role of sovereign is not one of them.
When have you taken matters into your own hands instead of trusting in God?
God, may we trust that you are working out your purpose for us. Teach us to participate in that work rather than try to direct it. Amen.