The Ten Camel Test: When Life Stretches You Beyond What you Expect
My friend Elaine, is such a hospitable soul. She decided to invite 20 people over for an afternoon get together, during the Chinese New Year holiday. The day before the party, her son inquired, “Oh by the way, is it okay that I invited some of my friends too? Some of them have never been to a CNY celebration.”
Guess how many more people came? 20 more! So she had 40 guests instead of 20!
My friend wins the “Ms. Hospitality award!” Without skipping a beat, the poolside party went as planned. She had activities such as “Make Your Own Spam Musubi Rolls,” swimming for the kids, and delicious potluck food.The guests were happy, her son was happy, and the hosts were wonderful.
Now if my son came to me and told me there were 20 more people coming over for dinner at our home, I think I would have fainted. Or sermoned. Or called Pizza Hut and reserved a room for them there.
I get stressed when real life, interrupts my carefully planned schedule!
How about you?
Have you ever had those days, when you encounter one challenge after another?
In my one week in Manila, I came home to several unexpected needs: Carla my daughter-in-law, got dengue and was hospitalized, Joshua twisted and sprained his back, my father-in-law who stays with us, had a medical emergency; my dining room ceiling sprang a leak and gushed water, the dryer died, our car had a mysterious sound, I hosted an instant bday party for Philip and took care of him for 2 days , as well as babysat Lukie while his mom was in Zamboanga. All in 7 days. Whew!
Sometimes, we feel like a Swiss Army Knife and all our tools are used at the same time!
This is why I like to read God’s word. There’s always a timely word for real life.
Here’s what God’s teaching me:
1. There Are Days When You’ll Have a 10 Camel Test.
There are really times, when God allows stretching.
Look at Rebekah in Genesis 24. She was young girl, minding her own business, when the stretching came:
As a background of the story, Abraham’s servant had just prayed asking God for His directions.While waiting by the well, he sees Rebekah approaching
Before he had finished speaking, Rebekah appeared…She approached the well, carrying a jug on her shoulder.Then Abraham’s servant ran to meet her and asked her, “Please, let me have a sip of water from your jug.””Drink, sir!”When she had finished giving him a drink, she also said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they’ve had enough to drink.”She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and ran to the well to draw again until she had drawn enough water for all ten of the servant’s camels.
Not only did Rebekah volunteer to give this guy a drink, she also was willing to water his 10 thirsty camels!
The Cambridge Bible Commentary writes:
It is recorded that an individual [camel] has drunk as much as 20 gallons at a sitting, a fact which throws new light on the incident of Rebekah at the well. Abraham’s servant had ten camels. She said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. Rebekah’s acts of kindness to the stranger and his beasts were of larger proportions than the casual reader of these days might infer.
Imagine the time and effort Rebekah took to show kindness!
What a great attitude she displayed!
2. Those Camels Had Blessings Packed Inside!
Rebekah helped out of a generous spirit. She had no idea what blessing awaited her, after she passed the 10 Camel Test. She didn’t know that the camel packs had jewelry, riches and would lead her to her future husband.
What if she gave up after the 6th camel and said, Forget it, this is too hard!
That’s what some married couples do after several years of marriage I give up. This will never work.
That’s what some Christians do.
What if like Rebekah, we choose to finish the task we promised to complete? Imagine what blessings we would have enjoyed if we didn’t give up too soon?
What if Rebekah thought: “Hey I should start thinking about myself! This water might run out! I should hoard it for myself and not give away any more water!”
The world says look out for number one! Look out for yourself! God’s word says Look up to Number One and do what He says.
So dear reader, May God give us the grace to pass our 10 Camel Challenges knowing it comes with blessings : >
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV