Pastor's Wife, Mom, Writer & Imperfect Seeker of Jesus
Worth the Wait--Part 2
September 9, 2015
So what happens when we DON’T wait on God’s timing? I believe Scripture shows us the answer to that too. In my last post, I shared about three specific men who had to wait not just days or weeks, but years, for the fulfillment of God’s plan in their lives. And these are only three of the many people who waited like this.
But in one of those stories, there was an instance of impatience that still affects our world today. Look at the story of Abraham. In Genesis 12, God directed Abram to leave his home country and his huge extended family to go to an unknown place of the Lord’s choosing with only the promise of “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2 NIV)
Now remember that at this particular time in Abram’s life, he was 75 years old and his wife Sarai (later called Sarah) was 65, well past the age of child-bearing, and they HAD NO CHILDREN! Yet they set out to this unknown destination full of faith in their hearts for the ways of God.
However, 10 long years pass with continued promises but no children. Until finally, 75 year-old Sarai decides that if anything is going to come of this promise that SHE better step in and take some action herself. And “so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’” (Genesis 16:2 NIV) So the Egyptian slave, Hagar, was given to Abram as a secondary wife and became pregnant.
It's easy to criticize Sarah, but we do this too. Rather than wait on God and His perfect timing, we look around with our limited vision at our limited resources and come up with the “best” way to take action on our own. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that it is often through our actions that we best demonstrate our faith. Nevertheless, there is a huge difference between moving forward in faith and trying to FORCE the result we believe that God is leading us to.
We can look back at Sarah’s choice and think, REALLY? Did you really think that was a good idea rather than just waiting it out for the Lord, the One who created the world with just His voice, to take action? You really thought that He needed your help to accomplish His will? BUT WE DO THE SAME THING! How often have we forcefully and hurriedly taken matters into our own hands only to one day have to ask ourselves in the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”
Well, it worked out just AWFUL for Sarah. In a very, VERY brief and rudimentary summary in order to tie her actions to today, we find the descendants of Isaac (Sarah’s son) and Ishmael (Hagar’s son) STILL at war with each other. The nation of Israel (the Jewish nation) and the nation of Pakistan (primarily Muslim) continue to battle over the Holy Land. If you look in both the Bible and the Qur’an, you will find the common ancestor of none other than Abraham. Rather than one united nation of descendants from this one man, we find two nations fighting against each other now for over 4000 years.
Wow! All Sarah wanted was a child. And in the lonely quiet of her tent she came up with an idea of how to make that happen for herself. After all, it WAS God's will for Abraham to be a great nation. God just wasn't getting it done. Forgetting about hope and trust, in one small and seemingly insignificant personal maneuver, Sarah changed the course of history.
It's a pretty scary thought to imagine that a forced and rushed decision I make because I don’t want to wait on God could possibly impact the world and its people for centuries. Kinda makes you catch your breath and think that maybe it really is worth waiting for God’s timing!