Genesis 25:19a – This is the account of Abraham's son Isaac. (NIV)
Years ago, when I was growing up in Scotland, going to the movies meant spending the whole afternoon or evening in the picture house. Instead of just previews and the main feature like today, a whole program consisted of some trailers, a newsreel of important events, a one hour "B" movie, several cartoons, and then the main feature film. It took almost four hours from beginning to end to watch the whole program.
If an epic movie were being shown, like Gone with the Wind, El Cid, or The Sound of Music, there was always an interlude when movie goers could stand up and stretch, buy some ice cream from the pretty usherette, or visit the restroom. We could also catch up with our friends and neighbours if we spotted them in the theatre. After ten minutes, the lights would slowly go down, everyone would return to their seats, and the program would continue.
When I read about the biblical patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — I always feel as though Isaac's life is just a mere interlude between Abraham and Jacob. He appears to be a spectator in his own life. Abraham almost sacrifices him as a child. His marriage is arranged by his parents. His wife bears him two sons and then we next meet him as an old, blind man who is tricked by his youngest son and rejected by his oldest boy. After all is said and done, Isaac's importance is merely peripheral, as if he's only a small character in an epic movie.
For most of us, life is a lot like that. Our life story seems to carry no great importance in the realm of all things, and we can sometimes feel small and insignificant, as well as useless. And yet we believe in an Almighty God who takes a great interest in us individually, who watches what we do in our lives, and knows what we accomplish for His Son, Jesus Christ. Our lives are not mere interludes that have no value; our lives have a purpose in the continuing ministry and mission of Christ. If anything, we are each an integral part of the amazing prelude to Christ's return.
Questions for personal reflection:
How am I important to God? What does He want me to do with my life for His Son?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know our lives completely, and You have a personal plan for each one of us. We are uniquely created in a special time and place where we can serve You by being witnesses of our faith to all the people whom we encounter and embrace. Help us to understand that we are each significant to Your life, ministry, and work on earth. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.