If there is anything a newborn teaches you, it’s that there is no time and nothing but time all at the same time. They say that getting married is like holding up a mirror to yourself, your heart, your attitude, and intentions only to see how selfish you are. Well, if that is true then having a baby is like using one of those God forsaken lit up microscopic mirrors that sheds fluorescent light on every pore, stray hair, and sun spot. These fast and still moments bring my mind to two places in the wee hours of the morning: the things that formed me as a little girl and the things I hope will form my little girl.
A common all-American childhood for girls is typically filled with dress up, Barbies, Disney movies, Princess Bride, Ever After and every other movie where “she” is taken from her abasement to a pedestal and given an ornate crown to lord over the villain. Oh, we little girls grow up with these stories and become big girls that wear crowns on our own wedding day. One of my favorite princesses is not from a Disney movie or Grimm’s tale, but from Genesis.
“He (Isaac) went out into the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw the camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered…So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
Can you hear the soundtrack? Can you handpick the perfect actors to play these parts? I definitely can! But the most important character to cast is not the dashing hero, not the delicate ingénue, not even the servant. It’s the camel.
Yes, a camel doesn’t quite fit in our perfect love story, but we all have camels in our lives. The real story is allegorical for our love for Christ in this world we live in.
The camel?! Yes. The camel that spits in your face, smells of matted, dreaded fur, has awkward, spindly legs, and two humps. But those two humps are special and uniquely made. They hold approximately 30 gallons of water that the camel can drink in 13 minutes flat and then traverse for another 100 miles. Yes, a camel doesn’t quite fit in our perfect love story, but we all have camels in our lives. The real story is allegorical for our love for Christ in this world we live in.
Rewind the story a bit in Genesis 24 and we see Abraham’s servant was sent on a specific mission. He and his camels, were seeking a specific person with a specific attitude, giftings, and behaviors to befit Isaac as a wife. Rebekah fit the bill perfectly and proved it. The servant said, “May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says,” Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’”
And that is exactly what she did and got her workout on. I don’t know if her well was a proverbial stair-stepper or lateral pull down, but Rebekah watered the camels everyday and then initiated above and beyond maybe even the capabilities of her mind, body, and spirit. It was not easy in the least. It was inconvenient, rewardless, and exhausting.
We continually pour ourselves out for our family, our faith, and our calling, to the point of exhaustion, or worse, numbness. And we forget why it is that we are watering the camels in the first place.
Yes, we continually pour ourselves out for our family, our faith, and our calling, to the point of exhaustion, or worse, numbness. And we forget why it is that we are watering the camels in the first place. But here is the good news…
Every time we water the camels, we mobilize our gratitude and love for our Savior. Every time we water the camels, we live John 17 and show His glory. Every time we water the camels, we show the REAL Jesus to others, not the Jesus that the hurt, over-churched, and un-churched think they know. In your moment-to-moment and day-to-day remember that you are watering camels, girls.
In Rebekah’s day, camels were a part of life and as visible as the nearest Starbucks for us. In our day, we have our own camels too, don’t we? What are the camels in your life?
Is it a task, mission, or calling? Your camel might also be your Ninevah. What person, place, or holy discontent are you avoiding because it doesn’t fit in your life? Is it a person? The person who can act like a camel and spit on you making them so hard to love? Or maybe a person or situation that just might not be pleasant to be around? Is it the thing you drop your eyes at because you are uncomfortable?Is it even people who you don’t understand much less think/believe like you?
I have a camel to water for each of these questions. There are not enough wells, jars, or hours in the day to get to all of them whether I want to or not. But I don’t have to water the camels by myself like Rebekah did. I have a divine Helper in this race I run called life. In your exhaustion, will you remember to run your race hydrated by the living water only Christ can give?
In your exhaustion, will you remember to run your race hydrated by the living water only Christ can give?
My hope for you as well as my newborn daughter is that we will rally together and war against broken systems, our own minds, the world’s injustices, and all the hardness the world has to offer by watering well all the camels around us. Because with humble hearts and jars filled, we are continually enacting the glory of Christ to those around us. So find those camels, girls, and water on.
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