Scripture: For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. – Habakuk 2:3
Have you ever found yourself in that awkward place between having received a promise from God and waiting on that promise to be fulfilled? I have. It is an exciting, irritating, frustrating, and confusing place to be in.
On one hand, there’s excitement because you can’t wait to see God’s promise come to pass. Like a child waiting to find out what she received as gifts on Christmas morning, I was over the moon waiting to see God’s promise revealed to me and taste His goodness. On the other hand, when the waiting period grew and the promise seemed to delay, I became frustrated, irritated, and even confused. The more I waited, the more I began to ask God questions like why would you even tell me about this if you did not plan on doing it right away? How come it’s taking so long God? Did you change your mind? You know I’m only getting older day after day right…
You see patience and waiting are not my greatest virtues. But in the midst of waiting on some of God’s promises, He reminded me to trust Him and let Him do it His way and in His timing. Mostly, God reminded me that He did not need my help. And this is how we come to the story of Abraham and Sarah.
Around seventy-six years old, Abraham, who was married to Sarah, found himself childless, a great disappointment. We meet him in Genesis 15 as he tells God that He has dealt somewhat unfairly with him and his only possible heir is Eliezer, son of a slave born in his house. Right then, God reassured and promised Abraham (then called Abram) that not only would he have a son but also his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.
He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “your offspring will be that numerous”. – Genesis 15:5 CSB
Sarah and Abraham probably tried countless times to get pregnant and thought: “This is it. We are going to have a child soon.” Not quite, unfortunately. Ten whole years went by and no child was born from Sarah. This is when Sarah has a seemingly great idea. She got tired of waiting on a promise that seemed forgotten. It was already hard for her to believe that at such an old age she could become pregnant but now, to top it all off, God was making her wait (what seemed like forever). After ten years without a child, Sarah figured it was time for her to “help” God. And this is where the story becomes complicated. As you may know, Sarah had Abraham sleep with Hagar hoping to have a child through her maid but her plan did not work out too well. I’ll let you read Genesis 16 for more details on that.
Oh, Sarah! Oh, Abraham! How little they trusted God! Are we not often guilty of doing the same thing though? God makes us a promise, reveals to us a part of His plan, and in our haste to see it happen, we try to “help” him? What great help Sarah and Abraham provided to God! As a result of their action, first, they experienced a strain in their marriage (Abraham, Sarah, Hagar triangle). Then, Ishmael and Abraham did not grow to have the loving father-son relationship Abraham would have wished. And finally, the promise was further delayed.
Friend, let’s be careful not to act as Abraham and Sarah did. When the promise seems to be delayed, let us hold on to the truth of His Word. God is not a covenant breaker; He’s a promise keeper! As you wait on Him on a given promise, put your trust in Him.
“The person who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.” -Jeremiah 17:7
God is waiting to see if you will trust Him despite what your natural eyes may see. He wants to stretch your faith and see you place your full confidence in Him. He does not need your help just like He did not need Sarah’s help. In your feeble effort to “help” Him, you will only create a mess that you will later live to regret. So friend, wait on the Lord. His promises are always YES and AMEN. Remember that God is faithful and His promises are sure.
Dear God, great is your faithfulness. I thank you that your promises are sure and I can always stand on your Word. When I begin to lose hope or despair, help me to wait on you and trust your plans. Help me to wait patiently on you. Give me hope today Lord and build my confidence in you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.