Genealogy chapters. So tempting to skip, but always a nugget worth finding.
My nugget from Genesis Thirty Six is the embodiment of God’s promise to Abraham: descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, possessing the whole land of Canaan. And the unfolding of his revelation to Rebekah: Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated. It’s a record God’s faithfulness.
God is faithful. We sing about it on Sunday morning and reference it during difficult times. We use it as a buzz-phrase when we we’re not sure what else to say and we hang it on our walls in picture frames. But quite frankly, when your husband is wilting away from cancer treatments – unable to eat or walk or work – words of God’s faithfulness can seem…well, colorless. When relationships are breaking or careers are crumbling, it can be difficult to find much comfort in this Christian motto.
Please understand. I don’t mean to sound flippant…or cynical. I know God is faithful. Truly, I don’t doubt it. But sometimes I fear the pain and suffering he might allow, on my road to healing and restoration. Maybe healing won’t come on earth…but in Heaven. Maybe restoration won’t come in this generation…but the next. We simply don’t know. Abraham died long before seeing God’s covenant fulfilled. Did that make God less faithful? Did it make his promise void? Of course not.
In difficult times, I don’t doubt God’s faithfulness as much as I question his timeline…his logistics. But his faithfulness is never about instant gratification. He is our big-picture, eternal, all-seeing, loving Father. As I peer out at the world through my humble dot on the eternal timeline, and try to make sense of the world, God sees the complete and perfect picture; the beginning…the now…the forever.
He’s faithful even when we struggle to see it. Our struggle never changes God’s character. For that, I’m incredibly thankful. And I’m thankful for scriptural accounts, like Genesis Thirty Six, that show us a bigger picture and remind us to trust. To simply trust.