What we do instinctively in times of adversity—in the midst of life’s trials and struggles—can be quite revealing. Do we wring our hands in despair? Do we make a plan and a task list to deal with the situation we are facing? Or do we turn to God?
As we read this passage describing Isaac and Rebekah’s inability to have children, we are reminded of Abraham and Sarah’s shared struggle with infertility (see Gen. 15:1-6; 16:1-16; 18:9-15). It was no accident that the first two married couples through whom God was forming His great nation faced this same challenge—God was making it abundantly clear that His people would be raised up by His hand alone.
It is helpful to consider the different responses of these couples as they faced their infertility. Both Abraham and Sarah tried to take matters into their own hands and solve their “problem,” resulting in great disaster. Later, Sarah seemed to resign herself to her barrenness and laughed at the news she would have a son. Even so, God was faithful to His promise and provided Isaac.
However, when Isaac faced the same trial, he did not follow in his parents’ footsteps. Perhaps he had heard from them the story of his birth time and time again, with its joys and their flaws. So instead of despairing or taking matters into his own hands, he turned to God and interceded for his wife. This act of love for Rebekah and trust in God provides an example of what our instinct in times of adversity should be.
What is your instinctive response to adversity? What can you do to be more apt to turn to God in these times?