I have just returned from a women's retreat. It was 72 hours of concentrated teaching. During the lecture series, we were to sit with the same group of women throughout the whole retreat. And each table had a name from a women in the Bible. My table was the table of Rachel.
Can I tell you a little bit about Rachel? She was a shepherdess. Her job was to lead her sheep to better grazing areas, watering holes and defend them from wild animals. She is found in Genesis 29.
She was in love at first sight with Jacob, a visiting Israelite. Her bride price was seven years of labor. Alas, her father tricked Jacob and had him marry her older sister Leah first. So Jacob vowed to work another seven years for Rachel's hand. They were finally wed.
Can you imagine 14 years of waiting for the man you love? After those 14 years she had an even more difficult wait. It seems she was not able to have children. She watched as her older sister had child after child after child.
Rachel tried everything, even using her handmaid as a surrogate mother. She was ashamed...even though she still had the real love of her husband...something that Leah never had.
These days I feel like Rachel, waiting for God to make something happen. I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of being laid off from a job I held for 17 years. Should I start my own business? Should I go deeper into ministry or missions? I am ashamed of my unemployment, I should be helping my husband support us!
When I pray about this, the only answer I hear is, "Wait."
Sitting at the table of Rachel over the retreat weekend reminded me of something. Yes, I am a Rachel and I feel a bit empty because I don't seem to be producing anything right now. I look to my sisters and see careers, children, missions and amazing lives. Am I envious? A bit.
But you know what? Like Rachel, I still have the love of my Savior Jesus and it will never stop. There's nothing more I can do to earn it, it is a gift. So, I need to repent of my envy.
And that is the reason why I have resolved to be His Lady in Waiting.
I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. Psalm 130:5
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9