Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
It sounds strange, I know, but I am a bit of a sign seeker. Like Abraham's servant seeking a sign that the girl to marry Isaac would be found, I too, look for signs that I am on the right track. Many of the signs I have sought are not as straightforward as the servant's. Mine have tended to be more subtle -- little coincidences and confirmations that things are starting to gel.
Once, I had an opportunity to get a job in a field I had never worked in before. Before the interview, the person setting up the interview told me about the job. It sounded like a great opportunity except for 3 things. First, the pay was less than I was interested in taking. Second, they were looking for someone full-time and I was really only looking for part-time work. Third, they were looking for a 10-7 shift, which would have taken nearly all of the afternoon and evening time I normally spent with my kids. Still, I went to the interview. I thought at the very least, I would get experience interviewing and I could continue the search with more knowledge than I went in with.
The interview went really well, and instantly I felt comfortable there. Before I could pose any of my objections to the specifics of the job, the interviewer told me they could afford to pay the amount I was asking. She told me they were hiring for both full- and part-time shifts. And one of the available part-time shifts was from 6-2:30 -- 1/2 hour before my kids got off school! I had only three objections. She had exactly those three opportunities. It was a sign from God. I took the job.
It turned out to be one of the most fulfilling experiences I've ever had. I loved the work and the people. I gained experience in a field I never thought I would. I found myself happier and more fulfilled than I had been in a while. Not only did I seek and find the sign I was looking for, but I also took a chance on something completely new. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Genesis 24:1-27
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all kinds of choice gifts from his master; and he set out and went to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was toward evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’ —let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, coming out with her water jar on her shoulder. The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, and said, “Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” She added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder and a place to spend the night.” The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the way to the house of my master’s kin.”