And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.”
— Genesis 17:15-19
“You’re so impatient, just like your mother.” Ooofff. The sentence punched me in the gut from across the room. Not because the words were mean or off base, but because they were true. This COVID-19 pandemic is showing me just how impatient I truly am. And the Lord is graciously, kindly, teaching me how to live a life characterized by trust in him and gratitude for the present moment.
I relate to the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Both Abraham and Sarah were ready and willing to settle for less than what God had promised them. Not because it wasn’t the deepest desire of their hearts to have a child, but because God’s way seemed impossible and therefore not worth trusting in. No sense waiting around for the fulfillment of an impossible promise. That’s just practical, right? Formulate a Plan B just in case, so I can protect myself from future disappointment if the miracle doesn’t manifest. It’s only natural to want to shield myself from being let down.
Here’s the problem: God is beyond natural. He is supernatural. And I am shortsighted, even on my best days. Every blessing that has warmed and enriched my life, brought meaning and purpose, has come from the Lord. Every single one, including my darkest in-the-pit moments. So my desire to patiently wait on what God is doing is a commitment to trusting him for seemingly impossible things.
I don’t want to be like Sarah anymore. Her decision to take matters into her own hands did not thwart God’s promise and plan. Isaac was born all the same, and kings and nations still followed.
God always fulfills his promises, and no missteps from puny humans can stop him. But Sarah’s decision caused generations of strife and suffering as Ishmael’s and Isaac’s descendants warred with one another. I don’t want to be like Sarah. I don’t want my children, or their children, or their children’s children, to be negatively impacted by my impatience. I want to model wholehearted trust in God and willingness to wait for him to do what only he can. Will you join me? Let’s allow this challenging season to birth in us a drive to trust God fully and be flooded with gratitude for this, our today. He will fulfill his promises, no matter how impossible, in perfect timing.