And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you have another son.” NIV
I’ve know that this reminder was sitting here in Genesis, almost from the beginning of my project. It popped up again this morning when I searched for “worry” in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible on Bible Gateway.com. There, this verse reads, “She was having a rough time, but the woman who was helping her said, ‘Don’t worry! It’s a boy.'” CEV
“Don’t worry! It’s a boy.”
Rachel is giving birth to Benjamin. Immediately after naming him (she named him something else, by the way — Abraham changed it), she dies.
When I first read this reminder … I didn’t really feel like it applied to me.
But, this morning, with the perspective gained from a week of full-time babysitting for two little ones whose folks are out of town, I get it.
The highest calling a woman could have in Rachel’s time was to produce a son. She did this not only once, but twice. As she breathed her last breaths, the mid-wife, I think, was attempting to reassure her — her life, however short, mattered. She made a difference.
We all want that. We all want to matter, and to impact the world around us, to somehow make this a better place.
The trick is, aligning our will with God’s will. God has amazing plans in store for us. He created us to delight in us. He knit each of us together and gifted us with skills and abilities that uniquely suit us to achieve His purpose for our lives.
When we’re not serving as God intended, we feel out of place … we’re the butter knife trying to chop wood. But, when we employ our skills and abilities in the direction He intends, amazing things happen — for us, and for the kingdom.
In Rachel’s case, the midwife’s reminder was not a series of hollow words, as I always saw it. No. It was a recognition of a crowning achievement … Rachel birthed the heads of two of the 12 tribes of Israel, and, her first son, Joseph, would be the tool God would use to save the entire family from starvation, years in the future.
Rachel mattered. We all matter — to God.
That’s what I’ll think about today.