By LYNN COWELL
|“But Sarai and Abram had no children. So Sarai took her maid, an Egyptian girl named Hagar, and gave her to Abram to be his second wife. ‘Since the Lord has given me no children,’ Sarai said, ‘you may sleep with my servant girl, and her children shall be mine.’ And Abram agreed.” Genesis 16:1-2 (TLB)
Why have you said, “No,” God?
The whole situation didn’t make sense. The job description fit me perfectly. And I just knew God had made me aware of that opportunity so I could move forward in my heart for ministry. Yet all the doors closed, and I couldn’t figure out why.
Weeks turned into years as the quicksand of discouragement pulled me under. I felt forgotten, and I often looked back on that lost opportunity with regret. Maybe there was something more I could have done to make it work? Why didn’t I try harder?
Time went on, and I was no closer to my dreams. I couldn’t understand why God kept me from that perfect position.
In today’s key verse, Sarai, Abram’s wife, was stuck too. God had promised them offspring — as many as the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5) — yet time was ticking. Sarai was growing older and worried she had yet to have a child.
Sarai may have believed she’d become invisible to God, and it was time to take matters into her own hands. She decided she wouldn’t wait any longer, so she devised a plan to get what she wanted.
And she got it, alright — a pregnancy plus a whole lot of trouble.
Sarai followed a common practice of her time and gave Hagar, her Egyptian slave, to Abram to become a surrogate mother. But her plan backfired. Hagar became pregnant and also a little haughty. With another person looking down on her barrenness, Sarai was more miserable than before.
If only she would have waited instead of manipulated.
Like Sarai, I had a hard time waiting on God. I couldn’t understand what was taking Him so long! Yet, when the perfect position opened down the road from my home, instead of a 1,000 miles away, like the other job, it all made sense.
So often now as I take my short drive to the office, I find myself very thankful I waited for God to provide.
If we can wait and not manipulate, God promises us He is always at work for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when the situation seems to be going the wrong way, we can trust that His way is best. We must be prayerful, wait and trust. Easier said than done, though, I know.
Yet when we wait and see God’s goodness come to past, we create a history with God, a repertoire of faith moments when we have seen God’s faithfulness. This foundation builds our faith in Him so we know we can trust Him again and again.
These stories, these faith-building encounters with God, are the same stories I share with my kids, helping them to trust God with their dreams for the future as well. Helping them also learn to wait and not manipulate.
Today, thank God for the times you have seen His faithfulness. If you are in a current struggle, pray for the patience to wait and not manipulate.
Lord, when life doesn’t go as planned, everything in me says, “Do something!” when You might be asking me to do nothing but wait. Give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances appear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (NIV)
Isaiah 30:18, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (NIV)
Stop by Lynn’s blog today where she shares a beautiful download for those difficult times of waiting.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Choose one of the verses above to have on hand when your mind wants to start planning instead of praying for God to move.
|© 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.|