The servant of Abraham, whose name we do not know, was given a task by his master to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. Out he went. Sitting by a well to rest, he devised an elaborate plot. “If I meet a woman who does this and this and this,” he said, I’ll know she’s the one.”
Along came Rebekah. The servant set the test in motion. Unknowingly, Rebekah responded exactly as he had envisioned the right girl would.
The next step for Abraham’s servant was to get permission to take Rebekah far away from her family to become Isaac’s wife. He went to her home and explained the whole situation to Bethuel, her father, and Laban, her older brother. The servant described in detail exactly the plan he had devised and how Rebekah fulfilled each part perfectly without knowing anything about it. He then said “If you are going to let the girl come with me, say so. If not, I’ll go elsewhere.”
Realizing the significance of the way it had all happened, Bethuel and Laban’s response was simple: “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.”
There are times when I am not pleased with the hand life has dealt me. I want things to be different, and I seem unable to make them so. Circumstances line up to clearly put me on this path or that.
Do I have options in those situations? Well, maybe. And I guess Bethuel and Laban could have refused to let Rebekah go back with Abraham’s servant. The wiser response is to realize that – sometimes – exerting a lot of effort to alter life is fighting against God Himself. (This is never successful in the long run, by the way.) Much better to give in and say, “Whether I like it or not, this is from the Lord; I have no choice in the matter.”
Most likely God says “Sure you do,” then He winks and adds “but really you don’t.” Nonetheless, I think He’s pleased.