“Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you…” Genesis 17:4-6
A great deal of time passes since God originally gave Abram the promise of many nations being blessed from his family (Abram was 75). Abram and Sarai still have no children after decades of trying, making the promise of anything coming from their family, much less a blessing, seem impossible. Barren and impatient, Abram’s wife Sarai takes things into her own hands.
Rather than wait and trust God’s plan, Sarai convinces Abram (now 86) to have a child with her servant for the two of them to raise as their own. Big mistake! Instead of satisfying the emptiness and longing in her heart, Sarai is filled with jealousy and anger over the child. Going outside of God’s plans to try to rush and orchestrate things her own way had painful consequences. In fact, this child, Ishmael, becomes the family line of Muhammad and Islam…a religion still fighting with the Jewish people and Christianity today.
Years pass and God appears again (Abraham is now 99). God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and reaffirms His promise to make Abraham a father of a multitude of nations. Even Sarah’s (Sarai gets a name change too) costly mistake won’t thwart God’s perfect plans or nullify His promises. God is a promise keeper. God tells Abraham he will have a son with Sarah within the year, upon which God’s covenant promise will flow through.
Waiting is hard. Especially when we know something is coming; something is promised to us. God’s plans and timing are so different from our own… so much better. Like Abraham, we have to trust and obey God. In our waiting, God is working. And God loves to work in situations where it can only be His power that accomplishes the impossible.
Questions: Are you in a season of waiting? How do you handle seasons of waiting?