Sometimes does it feel like you do everything right, yet things still don’t go right for you? You follow the plan, and the plan doesn’t work. You do the work, but you’re not rewarded for the work. You give extra, but extra never seems to come back to you.
Oh, girl, do I ever have a message for you today!
This is a message to my sisters who feel like they are under appreciated. Like their slow progress doesn’t equal their continued effort. Like their time will never come.
Maybe you’re discouraged this morning. Maybe you’re just tired. Tired of doing all these things that seem to never be good enough. I get it. Me too. I’m on a passionate journey to health this year. I’ve committed to losing 25 pounds, returning to running, completing a half marathon, and treating this body like the temple it was created to be. Each Friday I weigh in to track my progress. Y’all, after a full week of staying 100% on plan, running, denying my cravings, and busting my butt, I gained .7 pounds.
Sometimes don’t you want to just scream, “what the actual heck is this?!!!!”
You clean all day, and in a matter of 15 minutes the house is a mess again.
You show up early to work and you’re the one who always stays late, yet someone else gets chosen for the promotion.
You do everything for your family, yet someone else is always the favorite.
You have been nothing but kind, and your kindness is taken for weakness and you’re taken advantage of again.
You do the work, but you don’t get the praise.
You do the same thing someone else is doing, while you watch them succeed and you stay stuck.
What the actual heck?!!!!
Don’t you just want to give up? I mean really, what’s the point? If you’re not going to be promoted, if you’re not going to be chosen, if you’re not going to be appreciated, if you’re not going to move forward, why would you keep working so hard?
I get it. I think those same thoughts and feel those same feelings. And here’s what our sweet, sweet God does for us right when we need it most … He leads us to a story in the Bible we’ve likely never even noticed before, and he shows us how HE is always watching and plans to honor our commitment.
It’s the story of a young woman named Rebekah and a bunch of camels. A story of a woman who was willing to do the hard work without expectation of anything in return. A woman who was ridiculously kind, not because of what she would get out of it, but because of who God created her to be. And what happened as a result.
Abraham was the father of Issac. Issac was a prized and precious son because his parents had waited on him their whole lives. His mother, Sarah, was barren. When Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 100, God miraculously gave them the son he had promised. When you have a child like that, and that child grows up, you don’t want them to marry just anyone. You’ve got one shot at getting the right daughter-in-law to give birth the next generation.
Abraham desired a wife for his son from his homeland. So, he sent his servant on a journey with 10 camels hundreds of miles away to find the woman God had set apart for his son. This woman would return to Canaan to marry Issac, but it would be no easy task finding the right woman who would be willing to leave her family and travel with this stranger for hundreds of miles on camels to spend the rest of her life.
Now the servant has arrived in Abraham’s hometown after his long journey and we pick up in Genesis 24: 11-20:
“He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.
“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.”
Admittedly, when I read this story, I envisioned setting out a dog bowl for the camels to have a little drink. That’s not what happened here. What Rebekah offered to this complete stranger was hours of hard work. I did the research. Thirsty camels after a trip like they had just made, can drink 20 to 30 gallons of water. There were 10 camels. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. Do the math. Rebekah has offered to carry anywhere between 1,600 and 2,400 pounds of water from a well to a watering trough.
And we know there was running involved. It says she RAN back to the well to draw water for ALL of his camels. And she would give them not just a sip, but water until they had had ENOUGH to drink, meaning all they wanted. And she did all of this for a man she didn’t know with zero expectation of anything in return. She gave because it was who she was.
And sis, when you give because of who you are, who you are will be recognized. Maybe not immediately, but eventually all you do from this genuine place of who you are, will come to light. God sees everything you do. He knows your effort. He knows your kindness. He hasn’t missed seeing a single thing you’ve done. And honey, your time is coming!
Rebekah did all of this because of who she was. And that was exactly the kind of woman Abraham’s servant had prayed to find as the perfect wife for Issac.
Verse 21 “The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the Lord had given him success in his mission.”
What if today, there is someone who has prayed God would show them who to choose for a fabulous opportunity, and what if God is showing them YOU! What if all you have been doing is about to come to light and be seen? What if all your efforts that seem to have been in vain are for a time such as this … a time when your character will be on full display showing who you are.
Rebekah returns to Canaan with Abraham’s servant and marries Issac. Verse 67 “He loved her deeply.”
She was chosen. She was loved. She was set apart to be part of something special. 40 generations later, from this woman who was simply willing to water a stranger’s camels, came Jesus!
God is looking for someone who will be faithful, someone who will be kind, someone who will be generous, someone who will keep showing up even when progress is slow … and when he finds that someone, he has a special invitation to make her part of something she simply can’t imagine.
Let it be you.
Let it be you that keeps working. Let it be you that keeps giving. Let it be you that keeps being kind when others aren’t. Let it be you that does good because of WHO you are, not because of what anyone will say or do in return. Let it be you that keeps doing the right thing while surrounded by the wrong things.
I wonder how many times Rebekah had gone to extreme measures to show kindness to others and absolutely nothing happened for her? God had been watching. All this time, God knew, she was the one who he could trust to be in the lineage of Jesus.
And all this time, God has been watching you. Watching you through the disappointment and the delay. Watching you through the hurt and the hardship. Watching you through the struggle and the setbacks. Let him see you are faithful through it all!
So, whether you’ve been working your butt off and the scale still isn’t moving …
Whether you’ve been giving your all and no one says thank you …
Whether you’ve been making major sacrifices and still see no benefit …
Whether you’ve been stepped on while you’ve been kind …
None of that matters. God is watching. You keep doing the right thing. You keep showing up because of WHO YOU ARE, and just when you least expect it, God is going to bring an opportunity to you that will blow your mind!
Water the camels today. It might just lead to a life greater than you could have ever imagined! God does awesome things like that for his faithful girls.