Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Scripture: Trusting in God's Timing

Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. Genesis 11:30 (NIV)

The Lord had said to Abram, "......I will make you into a great nation...."
.....Abram was seventy-five years old. Genesis 12: 1-2, 4 (NIV)

The Lord said to Abram....., ".....I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted."  Genesis 13: 14-17 (NIV)

But Abram said, "O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless....? You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."  Then the word of the Lord came to him, "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir."  He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them." Then He said to him, " So shall your offspring be."  Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.  Genesis 15: 2-6 (NIV)

Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no she said to Abram, "The Lord has kept me from having children.  Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her."  Abram agreed to what Sarai said......He slept with [his maidservant], and she conceived.  Genesis 16: 1-4 (NIV)

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ".....I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.......I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you." Genesis 17: 1-2, 6 (NIV)

God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife.....I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her...."  Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?  Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"  Genesis 17: 15-17 (NIV)

Then the Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.  Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.  So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"  Then the Lord said to Abraham, " Why did Sarah laugh and say, "Will I really have a child, now that I am old?"  Is anything too hard for the Lord?  Genesis 18: 10-14 (NIV)

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised.  Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.  Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.  Genesis 21: 1-3 (NIV)

As I was reading through these passages a few weeks ago, these verses really hit home with me.  You see, I, like Sarah, have struggled with fertility issues.  While I plan to save my story for another time (just that fact that I shared this much is HUGE for me!), I couldn't help but share this passage now.....if for no other reason but to remind myself that God is in control and His timing is perfect. 

If you noticed in the above scriptures, these events take place over several chapters, but more than that, over a span of 25 years!  Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham, was 75 years old when God first promised to bless him with a child.....and numerous descendants.  But it wasn't until he was 100 that Sarai, now Sarah, gave birth to Isaac!  Talk about having to trust God's promises and His timing.  (That makes my 4 years seem small in comparison.) 

What is also interesting to me is that God promised descendants greater than the stars in the sky (one of those descendents of whom would be Jesus Christ!) through Abraham's line, yet his wife Sarah and later Isaac's wife Rebekah were both barren!  (Genesis 25:21)  But in God's perfect time, he allowed both to have children.  Could it be that this was the only way to show that it was only by God's supernatural power that His promised was fulfilled, and not by anything man could do?

And speaking of man trying to take things into his own hands, Abram & Sarai tried to "fulfill" God's promise in their own way by having a child through the maidservant, which if you read on, only caused problems for them.

But God had a plan.....a perfect plan, and although Abraham's faith waivered at times (whose wouldn't after waiting for 25 years?), he still believed God (Genesis 15:6).  And in God's perfect timing, He fulfilled His promise and blessed Abraham beyond measure.

While you may not be struggling with infertility or longing for a child, there may be something else.....some other promise, some other longing....for which you continually hope & pray. 

What is it that God has promised you? 

Don't give up yet!  Know that if, like Abraham, you continue to trust & obey God, in His perfect timing, He will give birth to that promise!