“And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And he said, ‘Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brothers.'” Genesis 24:27
As an addendum to our family, eight and six years after my brothers were born, I often felt like a bother, a nuisance. In the way.
It is comforting for me to read Genesis 24 (the whole chapter), in which Abraham sends a trusted servant back to the old country with ten camels to secure a wife for his son Isaac. The servant has misgivings–“What if she won’t follow me?”–but Abraham assures him, “The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way.”
When the servant-cum-camels reaches the old country (Mesopotamia) he sets conditions for God to meet so he’ll recognize the woman God has picked for Isaac. Sure enough a woman “very fair to look on and a virgin” comes along and unknowingly fulfills the conditions (watering him and all the camels). She turns out to be Abraham’s great-niece–and she’s willing to drop everything to travel to a foreign country with this stranger and marry her second cousin, whom she has never met.
The servant is ecstatic, puts rings on her fingers and bells on her toes (so to speak), lets her brother invite him to dinner and recounts to the family his assignment and every detail of his journey before he’ll take a single bite of food.
For me, the high point of this very middle-Eastern romance (Rebekah may not have even known Isaac’s name until she met him later in a field in Canaan) is when the servant, describing to Rebekah’s family how he obeyed his master and how God set before him the perfect choice, says, “I, being in the way, the Lord led me. . .”
Sometimes even those of us who feel in the way can be smack dab in the middle of God’s will and be one of the dots God is connecting to do something wonderful.
Of course you have to use certain translations to get that slant on it. In Hebrew it’s just anoki badderek–“me, the way”–which most translations render, “As for me.” But that doesn’t capture the wonder at all.